Cancer Biology


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1 Q&A 735 Views Oct 20, 2023

Platelets and their activation status play an essential role in cancer metastasis. Therefore, the anti-metastatic potential of antiplatelet drugs has been investigated for many years. However, the initial screening of these antiplatelet drugs to determine which agents can inhibit the interactions of platelets and tumor cells is very limited due to reliance upon expensive, time-consuming, and low-throughput animal experiments for screening. In vitro models of the platelet–tumor cell interaction can be a useful tool to rapidly screen multiple antiplatelet drugs and compare their ability to disrupt platelet–tumor cell interactions, while also identifying optimal concentrations to move forward for in vivo validation. Hence, we adopted methods used in platelet activation research to isolate and label platelets before mixing them with tumor cells (MDA-MB-231-RFP cells) in vitro in a static co-culture model. Platelets were isolated from other blood components by centrifugation, followed by fluorescent labeling using the dye CMFDA (CellTrackerTM Green). Labeling platelets allows microscopic observation of the introduced platelets with tumor cells grown in cell culture dishes. These methods have facilitated the study of platelet–tumor cell interactions in tissue culture. Here, we provide details of the methods we have used for platelet isolation from humans and mice and their staining for further interaction with tumor cells by microscopy and plate reader–based quantification. Moreover, we show the utility of this assay by demonstrating decreased platelet–tumor cell interactions in the presence of the T-Prostanoid receptor (TPr) inhibitor ifetroban. The methods described here will aid in the rapid discovery of antiplatelet agents, which have potential as anti-metastatic agents as well.

Key features

• Analysis of platelet–tumor cell binding dynamics.

• In vitro methods developed for measuring platelet–tumor cell binding to enable rapid testing of antiplatelet and other compounds.

• Complementary analysis of platelet–tumor cell binding by imaging and fluorimetry-based readings.

• Representative results screening the effect of the antiplatelet drug, ifetroban, on platelet–tumor cell binding using the protocol.

• Validation results were presented with both a TPr agonist and ifetroban (antagonist).

Graphical overview

Representative overview of the process to isolate and label platelets, incubate platelets and tumor cells in the presence of antiplatelet agents, and image and/or quantify platelet–tumor cell interactions.

0 Q&A 12523 Views Apr 5, 2016
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are one of the major players in tumor-stroma crosstalk. Findings in experimental studies suggest important roles for CAFs in regulation of tumor growth, metastasis and drug response (Hanahan and Coussens, 2012). Furthermore, their clinical relevance is supported by new findings from tumor analyses, demonstrating the prognostic and response-predictive significance of CAF-derived markers or gene signatures (Berdiel-hacer et al., 2014; Finak et al., 2008; Navab et al., 2011; Paulsson and Micke, 2014). CAFs are a heterogeneous pool of cell subsets with distinct functions which needs to be better defined by their marker expressions. The development of a methodology for the establishment of fibroblast primary cultures derived from human colon tumors allowed us to characterize their functional and molecular properties (Herrera et al., 2013). In addition, the different molecular mechanisms through which CAFs affect tumor growth and metastasis are still to be clarified. Therefore, functional and molecular characterization of the cancer-associated fibroblasts is essential to fully understand their role in tumor progression.

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