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Pericytes limit tumor cell metastasis.

Journal article
Authors Xiaojie Xian
Joakim Håkansson
Anders Ståhlberg
Per Lindblom
Christer Betsholtz
Holger Gerhardt
Henrik Semb
Published in The Journal of clinical investigation
Volume 116
Issue 3
Pages 642-51
ISSN 0021-9738
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical and Clinical Genetics
Pages 642-51
Language en
Keywords Adenoma, Islet Cell, blood supply, genetics, metabolism, pathology, Animals, Cell Communication, genetics, Endothelium, Vascular, metabolism, pathology, Fibrosarcoma, blood supply, genetics, metabolism, pathology, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Neoplasm Metastasis, pathology, prevention & control, Neovascularization, Pathologic, metabolism, Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules, deficiency, genetics, physiology, Pancreatic Neoplasms, blood supply, genetics, metabolism, pathology, Pericytes, metabolism, physiology
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


Previously we observed that neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) deficiency in beta tumor cells facilitates metastasis into distant organs and local lymph nodes. Here, we show that NCAM-deficient beta cell tumors grew leaky blood vessels with perturbed pericyte-endothelial cell-cell interactions and deficient perivascular deposition of ECM components. Conversely, tumor cell expression of NCAM in a fibrosarcoma model (T241) improved pericyte recruitment and increased perivascular deposition of ECM molecules. Together, these findings suggest that NCAM may limit tumor cell metastasis by stabilizing the microvessel wall. To directly address whether pericyte dysfunction increases the metastatic potential of solid tumors, we studied beta cell tumorigenesis in primary pericyte-deficient Pdgfb(ret/ret) mice. This resulted in beta tumor cell metastases in distant organs and local lymph nodes, demonstrating a role for pericytes in limiting tumor cell metastasis. These data support a new model for how tumor cells trigger metastasis by perturbing pericyte-endothelial cell-cell interactions.

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