1. Department of Experimental Oncology, Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
2. Faculty of Chemistry, Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Microbiology, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Wroclaw, Poland
3. Division of Surgical Oncology and Clinical Oncology; Department of Oncology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
4. Lower Silesian Oncology Center, Wroclaw, Poland
5. Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
Carbon monoxide and nitric oxide are two of the most important vasoprotective mediators. Their downregulation observed during vascular dysfunction, which is associated with cancer progression, leads to uncontrolled platelet activation. Therefore, the aim of our studies was to improve vasoprotection and to decrease platelet activation during progression of mouse mammary gland cancer by concurrent use of CO and NO donors (CORM-A1 and DETA/NO, respectively).
Methods: Mice injected intravenously with 4T1-luc2-tdTomato or orthotopically with 4T1 mouse mammary gland cancer cells were treated with CORM-A1 and DETA/NO. Ex vivo aggregation and activation of platelets were assessed in the blood of healthy donors and breast cancer patients. Moreover, we analyzed the compounds' direct effect on 4T1 mouse and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells proliferation, adhesion and migration in vitro.
Results: We have observed antimetastatic effect of combination therapy, which was only transient in orthotopic model. During early stages of tumor progression concurrent use of CORM-A1 and DETA/NO demonstrated vasoprotective ability (decreased endothelin-1, sICAM and sE-selectin plasma level) and downregulated platelets activation (decreased bound of fibrinogen and vWf to platelets) as well as inhibited EMT process. Combined treatment with CO and NO donors diminished adhesion and migration of breast cancer cells in vitro and inhibited aggregation as well as TGF-β release from breast cancer patients' platelets ex vivo. However, antimetastatic effect was not observed at a later stage of tumor progression which was accompanied by increased platelets activation and endothelial dysfunction related to a decrease of VASP level.
Conclusion: The therapy was shown to have antimetastatic action and resulted in normalization of endothelial metabolism, diminution of platelet activation and inhibition of EMT process. The effect was more prominent during early stages of tumor dissemination. Such treatment could be applied to inhibit metastasis during the first stages of this process.