Bone is the preferred metastasis site of advanced prostate cancer (PCa). Using an in vivo murine model of human PCa cell metastasis to bone, we noted that the majority of animals that develop skeletal metastasis have either spinal lesions or lesions in the bones of the hindlimb. Much less frequently, lesions develop in the bones of the forelimb. We therefore speculated whether the environment of the forelimb bones is not permissive for the growth of PCa. Consequently, data on tumor prevalence were normalized to account for the number of PCa cells arriving after intra- vascular injection, marrow cellularity, and number of hematopoietic stem cell niches. None of these factors were able to account for the observed differences in tumor prevalence. An analysis of differential gene and protein levels iden- tified that growth arrest specific-6 (GAS6) levels were significantly greater in the forelimb versus hindlimb bone mar- row. When murine RM1 cells were implanted into subcutaneous spaces in immune competent animals, tumor growth in the GAS6-/- animals was greater than in GAS6+/+ wild-type animals. In an osseous environment, the human PC3 cell line grew significantly better in vertebral body transplants (vossicles) derived from GAS6-/- animals than in vossicles derived from GAS6+/+ animals. Together, these data suggest that the differences in tumor preva- lence after intravascular inoculation are a useful model to study the molecular basis of tumor dormancy. Importantly, these data suggest that therapeutic manipulation of GAS6 levels may prove useful as a therapy for metastatic disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research