Matrix metalloproteinases expression in spontaneous canine histiocytic sarcomas and its xenograft model
Canine histiocytic sarcoma (HS) represents a malignant neoplastic disorder often with a rapid and progressive clinical course. A better understanding of the interaction between tumor cells and the local microenvironment may provide new insights into mechanisms of tumor growth and metastasis. The influence of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their inhibitors (TIMPs) on tumor angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis has been detailed in previous studies. In addition, inflammatory cells infiltrating neoplasms especially tumor associated macrophages (TAM) may contribute significantly to tumor progression. Due to the high variability of spontaneously occurring canine HS, standardized models are highly required to investigate tumor progression and interaction with its microenvironment. Therefore, the present study comparatively characterized the intratumoral macrophage infiltration as well as the expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, MMP-14 and TIMP-1 in spontaneous canine HS and its murine model. In spontaneous canine HS, scattered MAC 387-positive macrophages were randomly found in tumor center and periphery, whereas tumor cells were negative for this marker. Interestingly, quantitative analysis revealed that MMPs and TIMP-1 were mainly expressed at the invasive front while tumor centers exhibited significantly reduced immunoreactivity. Similar findings were obtained in xenotransplanted HS. Interestingly, murine tumor associated macrophages (TAM), characterized by Mac3 expression (CD107b/LAMP2), which was not present in xenotransplanted histiocytic sarcoma cells, strongly express MMPs and TIMP-1. In addition, MMPs are known to regulate angiogenesis and a positive correlation between MMP-14 expression and microvessel density was demonstrated in xenotransplanted histiocytic sarcomas. Summarized similar findings with respect to MMP and TIMP distribution and the role of macrophages in spontaneously-occurring and xenotransplanted HS indicate the high suitability of this murine model to further investigate HS under standardized conditions. Moreover results indicate that MMP expression contributes to tumor progression and invasion and TAMs seem to be major players in the interaction between neoplastic cells, the microenvironment and vessel formation indicating that therapeutic approaches modulating TAM associated molecules might represent promising future treatment options.