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Van Den Eynden G.G.,Translational Cancer Research Unit | Majeed A.W.,Liver Research Group | Illemann M.,Copenhagen University | Vermeulen P.B.,Translational Cancer Research Unit | And 5 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

The liver is host to many metastatic cancers, particularly colorectal cancer, for which the last 2 decades have seen major advances in diagnosis and treatment. The liver is a vital organ, and the extent of its involvement with metastatic disease is a major determinant of survival. Metastatic cells arriving in the liver via the bloodstream encounter the microenvironment of the hepatic sinusoid. The interactions of the tumor cells with hepatic sinusoidal and extrasinusoidal cells (endothelial, Kupffer, stellate, and inflammatory cells) determine their fate. The sinusoidal cells can have a dual role, sometimes fatal to the tumor cells but also facilitatory to their survival and growth. Adhesion molecules participate in these interactions and may affect their outcome. Bone marrow-derived cells and chemokines also play apart in the early battle for survival of the metastases. Once the tumor cells have arrested and survived the initial onslaught, tumors can grow within the liver in 3 distinct patterns, reflecting differing host responses, mechanisms of vascularization, and proteolytic activity. This review aims to present current knowledge of the interactions between the host liver cells and the invading metastases that has implications for the clinical course of the disease and the response to treatment. © 2012 American Association for Cancer Research.

Brockhausen J.,Centenary Institute | Tay S.S.,Centenary Institute | Grzelak C.A.,Centenary Institute | Bertolino P.,Centenary Institute | And 8 more authors.
Liver International | Year: 2015

Background & Aims: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been implicated in the processes of embryogenesis, tissue fibrosis and carcinogenesis. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) has been identified as a key driver of EMT and plays a key role in the pathogenesis of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim was to identify microRNA (miR) expression in TGF-β-induced hepatocyte EMT. Methods: We treated a human hepatocyte cell line PH5CH8 with TGF-β to induce an EMT-like change in phenotype and then identified dysregulated miRs using TaqMan Low Density Arrays. MiR expression was altered using miR-181a mimic and inhibitor in the same system and gene changes were identified using TaqMan gene arrays. MiR-181a gene expression was measured in human and mouse cirrhotic or HCC liver tissue samples. Gene changes were identified in rAAV-miR-181a-expressing mouse livers using TaqMan gene arrays. Results: We identified miR-181a as a miR that was significantly up-regulated in response to TGF-β treatment. Over-expression of a miR-181a mimic induced an in vitro EMT-like change with a phenotype similar to that seen with TGF-β treatment alone and was reversed using a miR-181a inhibitor. MiR-181a was shown to be up-regulated in experimental and human cirrhotic and HCC tissue. Mouse livers expressing rAAV-miR-181a showed genetic changes associated with TGF-β signalling and EMT. Conclusions: MiR-181a had a direct effect in inducing hepatocyte EMT and was able to replace TGF-β-induced effects in vitro. MiR-181a was over-expressed in cirrhosis and HCC and is likely to play a role in disease pathogenesis. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Sauvage V.R.,Imperial College London | Levene A.P.,Imperial College London | Nguyen H.T.,Imperial College London | Nguyen H.T.,Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan | And 9 more authors.
Lasers in Surgery and Medicine | Year: 2011

Background and Objectives The increasing incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD) and the consequent progression to cirrhosis is expected to become a major cause of liver transplantation. This will exacerbate the organ donor shortage and mean that 'marginal' fatty liver grafts are more frequently used. Autofluorescence spectroscopy is a fast, objective, and non-destructive method to detect change in the endogenous fluorophores distribution and could prove to be a valuable tool for NAFLD diagnosis and transplant graft assessment. Materials and Methods A system was constructed consisting of a fibre probe with two laser diodes that provided excitation light at 375 and 405 nm, and an imaging spectrograph system. This was used to distinguish fluorescence spectra acquired from the harvested livers from mice with NAFLD of differing severity (healthy, mild steatotic and steatohepatitic). The fluorescence data were entered into a sparse multiclass probabilistic algorithm for disease classification. Histopathology, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and alanine transaminase (ALT) assays were conducted in addition to the fluorescence measurements Results TBARS and ALT assays enabled differentiation of the steatohepatitic group from the mild steatosis and control groups (P 0.028) but failed to separate the mild steatotic group from the control group. The three groups were all clearly differentiated from each other using fluorescence spectroscopy, and classification accuracy was found to be 95%. Conclusion Fluorescence spectroscopy appears to be a promising approach for the analysis of diseased liver tissue. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Van Den Eynden G.G.,Translational Cancer Research Unit | Bird N.C.,Liver Research Group | Majeed A.W.,Liver Research Group | Van Laere S.,Translational Cancer Research Unit | And 2 more authors.
Clinical and Experimental Metastasis | Year: 2012

Little is known about the biological characteristics that determine the prognosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) liver metastases. In previous work we reported three different histological patterns of the tumour-liver interface of CRC liver metastases, termed the pushing, replacement and desmoplastic growth pattern (GP). The purpose of this study was to confirm differences in angiogenic and hypoxic properties of CRC liver metastases with different GPs in a large data set and to study the value of the GP as a prognostic factor. In 205 patients undergoing a resection of CRC liver metastases, the GP of the metastasis was determined using haematoxylin-eosin and Gordon Sweet's silver staining. The tumour cell proliferation fraction (TCP%), endothelial cell proliferation fraction (ECP%) and carbonic anhydrase 9 (CA9) expression were determined using immunohistochemistry. Standard clinicopathological data and overall survival were recorded. 27.8, 15.6, 34.6 and 17.6 % of liver metastases had a replacement, pushing, desmoplastic and mixed GP, respectively. Analyses of TCP%, ECP% and CA9 expression demonstrated that CRC liver metastases with a replacement GP are non-angio-genic, while the ones with a pushing GP are the most angiogenic with angiogenesis being, at least partially, hypoxia-driven. GP (pushing or not) was the only independent predictor of survival at 2 years. CRC liver metastases grow according to different GP patterns with different angiogenic properties. At 2 years of follow-up a GP with a pushing component was an independent predictor of poor survival, suggesting that the pushing GP is characterized by a more aggressive tumour biology. Further elucidation of the mechanisms and biological pathways involved in and responsible for the differences in GP between CRC liver metastases in different patients might lead to therapeutic agents and strategies taking advantage of this 2 year 'window of opportunity'. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Legry V.,Catholic University of Louvain | Van Rooyen D.M.,Liver Research Group | Lambert B.,Catholic University of Louvain | Sempoux C.,Catholic University of Louvain | And 6 more authors.
Clinical Science | Year: 2014

Non-alcoholic fatty liver (steatosis) and steatohepatitis [non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)] are hepatic complications of the metabolic syndrome. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is proposed as a crucial disease mechanism in obese and insulin-resistant animals (such as ob/ob mice) with simple steatosis, but its role in NASH remains controversial. We therefore evaluated the role of ER stress as a disease mechanism in foz/foz mice, which develop both the metabolic and histological features that mimic human NASH. We explored ER stress markers in the liver of foz/foz mice in response to a high-fat diet (HFD) at several time points. We then evaluated the effect of treatment with an ER stress inducer tunicamycin, or conversely with the ER protectant tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), on the metabolic and hepatic features. foz/foz mice are obese, glucose intolerant and develop NASH characterized by steatosis, inflammation, ballooned hepatocytes and apoptosis from 6 weeks of HFD feeding. This was not associated with activation of the upstream unfolded protein response [phospho-eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α), inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α) activity and spliced X-box-binding protein 1 (Xbp1)]. Activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and up-regulation of activating transcription factor-4 (Atf4) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-homologous protein (Chop) transcripts were however compatible with a 'pathological' response to ER stress. We tested this by using intervention experiments. Induction of chronic ER stress failed to worsen obesity, glucose intolerance and NASH pathology in HFD-fed foz/foz mice. In addition, the ER protectant TUDCA, although reducing steatosis, failed to improve glucose intolerance, hepatic inflammation and apoptosis in HFD-fed foz/foz mice. These results show that signals driving hepatic inflammation, apoptosis and insulin resistance are independent of ER stress in obese diabetic mice with steatohepatitis.

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