Cedervall J, Zhang Y, Huang H, Zhang L, Femel J, Dimberg A, Olsson AK
Cancer Res. 75 (13) 2653-2662 [2015-07-01; online 2015-06-12]
Cancer produces a variety of collateral effects in patients beyond the malignancy itself, including threats to distal organ functions. However, the basis for such effects, associated with either primary or metastatic tumors, are generally poorly understood. In this study, we show how heart and kidney vascular function is impaired by neutrophils that accumulate in those tissues as a result of tumor formation in two different transgenic mouse models of cancer (RIP1-Tag2 model of insulinoma and MMTV-PyMT model of breast cancer). Neutrophil depletion by systemic administration of an anti-Gr1 antibody improved vascular perfusion and prevented vascular leakage in kidney vessels. We also observed the accumulation of platelet-neutrophil complexes, a signature of neutrophil extracellular traps (NET), in the kidneys of tumor-bearing mice that were completely absent from healthy nontumor-bearing littermates. NET accumulation in the vasculature was associated with upregulation of the proinflammatory adhesion molecules ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and E-selectin, as well as the proinflammatory cytokines IL1β, IL6, and the chemokine CXCL1. Administering DNase I to dissolve NETs, which have a high DNA content, restored perfusion in the kidney and heart to levels seen in nontumor-bearing mice, and also prevented vessel leakage in the blood vasculature of these organs. Taken together, our findings strongly suggest that NETs mediate the negative collateral effects of tumors on distal organs, acting to impair vascular function, and to heighten inflammation at these sites.