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Investigation of a fluorescent reporter microenvironment niche labeling strategy in experimental brain metastasis

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posted on 2024-07-01, 13:22 authored by M Massara, B Dolfi, V Wischnewski, E Nolan, W Held, I Malanchi, JA Joyce
Brain metastases are the most common brain tumors in patients and are associated with poor prognosis. Investigating the colonization and outgrowth of brain metastases is challenging given the complexity of the organ, tissue sampling difficulty, and limited experimental models. To address this challenge, we employed a strategy to analyze the metastatic niche in established lesions, based on the release of a cell-penetrating mCherry tag from labeled tumor cells to neighboring niche cells, using different brain metastasis mouse models. We found that CD206+ macrophages were the most abundant cells taking up the mCherry label in established metastases. In vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that macrophages uptake and retain the canonical form of mCherry, even without the cell-penetrating portion of the tag. These results identify a specific macrophage subset in the brain that retains tumor-supplied fluorescent molecules, thereby complicating the long-term use of niche labeling strategies in established experimental brain metastasis.

Funding

Crick (Grant ID: CC2051, Grant title: Malanchi CC2051) European Research Council (Grant ID: 725492 - WHOLENICHE, Grant title: ERC 725492 - WHOLENICHE)

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