Mammary tissue microenvironment determines T cell-dependent breast cancer-associated inflammation

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Although the importance of the host tissue microenvironment in cancer progression and metastasis has been established, the spatiotemporal process establishing a cancer metastasis-prone tissue microenvironment remains unknown. In this study, we aim to understand the immunological character of a metastasis-prone microenvironment in a murine 4T1 breast tumor model, by using the activation of nuclear factor-jb (NF-jB) in cancer cells as a sensor of inflammatory status and by monitoring its activity by bioluminescence imaging. By using a 4T1 breast cancer cell line stably expressing an NF-jB ⁄ Luc2 reporter gene (4T1 NF-jB cells), we observed significantly increased bioluminescence approximately 7 days after metastasis-prone orthotopic mammary fat-pad inoculation but not ectopic s.c. inoculation of 4T1 NF-jB cells. Such in vivo NF-jB activation within the fat-pad 4T1 tumor was diminished in immune-deficient SCID or nude mice, or T celldepleted mice, suggesting the requirement of host T cell-mediated immune responses. Given the fat-pad 4T1 tumor expressed higher inflammatory mediators in a T cell-dependent mechanism compared to the s.c. tumor, our results imply the importance of the surrounding tissue microenvironment for inflaming tumors by collaborating with T cells to instigate metastatic spread of 4T1 breast cancer cells.


  • Cancer Science

    Cancer Science 106(7), 867-874, 2015-07



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