The Francis Crick Institute
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A humanized bone niche model reveals bone tissue preservation upon targeting mitochondrial complex I in pseudo-orthotopic osteosarcoma.

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-01-22, 17:52 authored by Ivana Kurelac, Ander Abarrategi, Moira Ragazzi, Luisa Iommarini, Nikkitha Umesh Ganesh, Thomas Snoeks, Dominique Bonnet, Anna Maria Porcelli, Ilaria Malanchi, Giuseppe Gasparre
A cogent issue in cancer research is how to account for the effects of tumor microenvironment (TME) on the response to therapy, warranting the need to adopt adequate in vitro and in vivo models. This is particularly relevant in the development of strategies targeting cancer metabolism, as they will inevitably have systemic effects. For example, inhibition of mitochondrial complex I (CI), despite showing promising results as an anticancer approach, triggers TME-mediated survival mechanisms in subcutaneous osteosarcoma xenografts, a response that may vary according to whether the tumors are induced via subcutaneous injection or by intrabone orthotopic transplantation. Thus, with the aim to characterize the TME of CI-deficient tumors in a model that more faithfully represents osteosarcoma development, we set up a humanized bone niche ectopic graft. A prominent involvement of TME was revealed in CI-deficient tumors, characterized by the abundance of cancer associated fibroblasts, tumor associated macrophages and preservation of osteocytes and osteoblasts in the mineralized bone matrix. The pseudo-orthotopic approach allowed investigation of osteosarcoma progression in a bone-like microenvironment setting, without being invasive as the intrabone cell transplantation. Additionally, establishing osteosarcomas in a humanized bone niche model identified a peculiar association between targeting CI and bone tissue preservation.


Crick (Grant ID: 10112, Grant title: Malanchi FC001112)