Denise Buenrostro, Ph.D.
Department: Cancer Biology, 2018
Faculty Mentor: Julie Sterling, Ph.D.
Dissertation Title: The role of TGF-B responsive myeloid cell in tumor induced bone disease
Dissertation Abstract: The bone-tumor microenvironment is recognized as a dynamic place where critical cell interactions occur and play an important role in altering tumorigenesis. While many studies have investigated the effects of cellular cross-talk within distinct tumor microenvironments, these interactions have yet to be fully examined in bone. It is well-established that breast cancer metastasizes to bone, resulting in the development of tumor-induced bone disease (TIBD), a multi-facetted illness that is driven by complex cell interactions within the bone marrow. Our group has previously published that myeloid progenitor cells expand in the presence of tumors in bone, aligning with the notion that myeloid cells can act as tumor promotors. Several groups, including ours, have established that transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), an abundant growth factor in bone, can regulate both TIBD and myeloid expansion. TGF-β inhibitors have been shown to increase bone volume, decrease bone destruction, and reduce but not eliminate tumor. Therefore, we investigated the effect of TGF-β inhibition on myeloid expansion, tumor in bone and osteoclast-mediated bone loss, an overall analysis of TIBD. To address this, two different mouse models of breast cancer bone colonization were pre-treated with the TGF-β neutralizing antibody, 1D11, prior to tumor inoculation (athymic: MDA-MB-231, BALB/c: 4T1) and continuously treated until sacrifice.
Additionally, a genetically modified mouse model with a myeloid specific deletion of transforming growth factor beta receptor II (TGF-βRII) (TGF-βRIIMyeKO) was utilized in our studies. Early TGF-β inhibition affected expansion of distinct myeloid populations and shifted the cytokine profile of pro-tumorigenic factors in bone, 4T1 tumor cells, and bone-marrow derived macrophages and reduced overall TIBD.
Similar observations were seen in tumor-bearing TGF-βRIIMyeKO mice, where these mice contained fewer bone lesions and significantly less tumor burden in bone, suggesting that TGF-β inhibition regulates myeloid expansion leading to a significant reduction in TIBD. All of this together suggests that TIBD is a complex and multifaceted illness that involves several factors that include the bone and several cellular subsets of the microenvironment.