Prostanoid induces premetastatic niche in regional lymph nodes


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Abstract

The lymphatic system is an important route for cancer dissemination, and lymph node metastasis (LNM) serves as a critical prognostic determinant in cancer patients. We investigated the contribution of COX-2–derived prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in the formation of a premetastatic niche and LNM. A murine model of Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cell metastasis revealed that COX-2 is expressed in DCs from the early stage in the lymph node subcapsular regions, and COX-2 inhibition markedly suppressed mediastinal LNM. Stromal cell–derived factor-1 (SDF-1) was elevated in DCs before LLC cell infiltration to the lymph nodes, and a COX-2 inhibitor, an SDF-1 antagonist, and a CXCR4 neutralizing antibody all reduced LNM. Moreover, LNM was reduced in mice lacking the PGE2 receptor EP3, and stimulation of cultured DCs with an EP3 agonist increased SDF-1 production. Compared with WT CD11c+ DCs, injection of EP3-deficient CD11c+ DCs dramatically reduced accumulation of SDF-1+CD11c+ DCs in regional LNs and LNM in LLC-injected mice. Accumulation of Tregs and lymph node lymphangiogenesis, which may influence the fate of metastasized tumor cells, was also COX-2/EP3–dependent. These results indicate that DCs induce a premetastatic niche during LNM via COX-2/EP3–dependent induction of SDF-1 and suggest that inhibition of this signaling axis may be an effective strategy to suppress premetastatic niche formation and LNM.

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