Qijun Xia, Dr, Hongqing Xi, Dr, Lin Chen, Prof. Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital.
INTRODUCTION: Perineural invasion (PNI) is one of important routes for the local spread of gastric carcinoma associated with poor prognosis. However, the exact cellular characteristics and molecular mechanisms of PNI are still unclear. The objective of our study was to identify the process and pathogenesis of PNI in gastric carcinoma.
METHODS AND PROCEDURES: we adopted in vitro cell co-culture assay to investigate the cellular and molecular interaction between gastric cancer cells and nerve cells.
RESULTS: We found that gastric cancer cells promote proliferation of neural progenitor cells and induce the processes elongation of mature neuron. These effects can be attenuated by blocking VCAM-1/integrin α4β1 interaction with anti-VCAM-1 blocking antibody. Furthermore, Migration and invasion assay revealed that nerve cells have ability to induce gastric cancer cells migration and invasion. The migration and invasion effects can also be reversed by blocking VCAM-1/integrin α4β1 interaction.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that neural-tumor interaction is a mutually beneficial process. It is possible that interaction between nerve cells and tumor cells might contribute to PNI of gastric carcinoma. Inhibition of the activity of VCAM-1 and its ligand intergrin α4β1 may be potential targets for PNI in gastric carcinoma therapy.