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Item153. Quantification of Lymphangiogenesis in Murine Lymphedema Tail Model Using Intravital Microscopy(Wolters Kluwer, 2023-05-19) Mohan, Ganesh; Khan, Imran; Diaz, Stephanie M.; Neumann, Colby R.; Jorge, Miguel D.; Sinha, Mithun; Gordillo, Gayle M.; Sen, Chandan K.; Hassanein, Aladdin H.; Surgery, School of MedicinePURPOSE: Lymphedema is limb swelling caused by lymphatic dysfunction. It occurs in 30% of patients that undergo axillary lymph node dissection in the treatment of breast cancer. There is no cure for this disease. Understanding the mechanisms of lymphatic growth will play a pivotal role in developing therapeutic strategies against these conditions. Visualization of lymphangiogenesis and functional assessment remains a challenge. Intravital two-photon microscopy (IVM) is a powerful imaging tool for investigating various biological processes in live animals. Tissue nanotransfection technology (TNT) facilitates a direct, transcutaneous non-viral vector gene delivery using a chip with nanochannel poration in a rapid (<100ms) focused electric field. TNT was used in this study to deliver the genetic cargo in the murine tail lymphedema to assess the lymphangiogenesis. The purpose of this study is to experimentally evaluate the applicability of IVM to visualize and quantify lymphatics. METHODS: The murine tail model of lymphedema was utilized. A 3 mm full thickness skin excision and lymphatic vessel disruption was performed 20 mm from the base of the tail in twelve C57BL/6 mice. TNT was applied to the murine tail (day 0) directly at the surgical site with genetic cargo loaded into the TNT reservoir: Group I (control) was given pCMV6 (expression vector backbone alone) (n=6); Group II had pCMV6-Prox1 (n=6). Post-TNT (day 10), a 3 cm segment of murine tail was deskinned distal to the site of occlusion to optimize visualization. FITC-Dextran (2000 kD) injected intradermally at the distal tail region for lymphatic uptake. Lymphatic vessels are visualized at the second skin excision site with the Leica SP8 Confocal/Multiphoton Microscope and assessed for number of branching points to determine the newly formed lymphatics. Lymphatic vessel density was also observed by immunostaining with anti-Podoplanin antibody. RESULTS: The experimental group II exhibited increased branching points (3-fold) using filamentation analysis compared to control group I at the site of TNT treatment (n=6, p<0.05). Increased lymphatic vessel density was also observed with Podoplanin immunostaining post-TNT application. Intensity quantification of immunohistochemistry revealed greater expression of Podoplanin in Group II when compared to Group I (n=6, p<0.05). CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates a novel, powerful imaging tool for investigating lymphatic vessels in live murine tail model of lymphedema. Intravital microscopy can be utilized for functional assessment of lymphatics and visualization of lymphangiogenesis following gene-based therapy. ItemAbstract B69: The effects of patient-physician relationships on perceptions of breast cancer treatment in African American women(Molecular Cancer Research, 2018) Lauray, Alexandria N.; Bigatti, SilviaAccording to Indiana.gov, 4,400 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in Indiana annually. “During 2008 to 2012, the mortality rates of African American breast cancer patients were almost 40% higher than Caucasian Americans” (Cancer.org), which sheds light on the health disparities African Americans face in the United States. Disparities among cancer patients have not only led to African American women (AAW) being diagnosed in later stages of this disease than their counterparts and thus raising their mortality rates, but AAW tend to be diagnosed with more aggressive forms of cancer such as triple-negative breast cancer, which occurs in 10% to 20% of patients. AAW face many barriers today: limited access to screening services, lack of quality screening equipment, limited access to treatment services, and an unspoken distrust of health care providers. Research indicates that during their breast cancer treatment trajectory, AAW experience delay in initiating chemotherapy after surgery, less satisfaction with treatment, increased symptoms, and lower participation in clinical trials (Mcarthy). Despite this, there is no study that has followed and assessed AAW during the treatment sessions to examine challenges in their lives and their impact. Studies of AAW who have survived breast cancer suggest the need to look not only at factors within the medical care system, but well beyond it into the everyday lives of these women and the resources available to them through social networks and other means to overcome challenges. This project explores themes in the baseline and exit interviews of 38 participants. In their initial interview, we asked questions related to support system, their views of treatment going into the process, and the quality of care that they feel they have received. At the end of treatments, we ask about patient-physician relationships and how the women perceived their care. Women in the study reported the need to readdress concerns with physicians. Patient-physician relationships among AAW diagnosed with breast cancer have been strained and have had a negative impact on patient satisfaction with care. ItemADAM8 is expressed widely in breast cancer and predicts poor outcome in hormone receptor positive, HER-2 negative patients(BMC, 2023-08-11) Pianetti, Stefania; Miller, Kathy D.; Chen, Hannah H.; Althouse, Sandra; Cao, Sha; Michael, Steven J.; Sonenshein, Gail E.; Mineva, Nora D.; Biostatistics, School of Public HealthBackground: Breast malignancies are the predominant cancer-related cause of death in women. New methods of diagnosis, prognosis and treatment are necessary. Previously, we identified the breast cancer cell surface protein ADAM8 as a marker of poor survival, and a driver of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) growth and spread. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) with a research-only anti-ADAM8 antibody revealed 34.0% of TNBCs (17/50) expressed ADAM8. To identify those patients who could benefit from future ADAM8-based interventions, new clinical tests are needed. Here, we report on the preclinical development of a highly specific IHC assay for detection of ADAM8-positive breast tumors. Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sections of ADAM8-positive breast cell lines and patient-derived xenograft tumors were used in IHC to identify a lead antibody, appropriate staining conditions and controls. Patient breast cancer samples (n = 490) were used to validate the assay. Cox proportional hazards models assessed association between survival and ADAM8 expression. Results: ADAM8 staining conditions were optimized, a lead anti-human ADAM8 monoclonal IHC antibody (ADP2) identified, and a breast staining/scoring control cell line microarray (CCM) generated expressing a range of ADAM8 levels. Assay specificity, reproducibility, and appropriateness of the CCM for scoring tumor samples were demonstrated. Consistent with earlier findings, 36.1% (22/61) of patient TNBCs expressed ADAM8. Overall, 33.9% (166/490) of the breast cancer population was ADAM8-positive, including Hormone Receptor (HR) and Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-2 (HER2) positive cancers, which were tested for the first time. For the most prevalent HR-positive/HER2-negative subtype, high ADAM8 expression identified patients at risk of poor survival. Conclusions: Our studies show ADAM8 is widely expressed in breast cancer and provide support for both a diagnostic and prognostic value of the ADP2 IHC assay. As ADAM8 has been implicated in multiple solid malignancies, continued development of this assay may have broad impact on cancer management. ItemAdenomyoepithelioma of the Breast in the Setting of Prior Contralateral Breast Malignancy(Springer Nature, 2023-05-18) Dauterman, Leah C.; Lentsch, Kristen; Fan, Betty; Medicine, School of MedicineAn 81-year-old female patient underwent a screening mammogram one year after completing treatment for right-sided estrogen receptor (ER)/progesterone receptor (PR)-negative ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). A new 1-cm mass was noted in the contralateral breast. Ultrasound and percutaneous core needle biopsy results were suggestive of an atypical papillary lesion. An excisional biopsy was performed, and the final pathology was consistent with a benign adenomyoepithelioma (AME). Surgical resection was considered her definitive treatment. AME of the breast is a rare clinical entity, with only a handful of case reports and case series available. In this case report, we review common clinical and radiologic presentations, methods of diagnosis, and recommendations for management based on current literature. The presence of an AME in the background of a previous or synchronous breast malignancy occurs in a very small percentage of cases. On review of available literature, we identified other cases with a past or current history of breast malignancy. ItemAged Breast Extracellular Matrix Drives Mammary Epithelial Cells to an Invasive and Cancer-Like Phenotype(Wiley, 2021-11) Bahcecioglu, Gokhan; Yue, Xiaoshan; Howe, Erin; Guldner, Ian; Stack, M. Sharon; Nakshatri, Harikrishna; Zhang, Siyuan; Zorlutuna, Pinar; Surgery, School of MedicineAge is a major risk factor for cancer. While the importance of age related genetic alterations in cells on cancer progression is well documented, the effect of aging extracellular matrix (ECM) has been overlooked. This study shows that the aging breast ECM alone is sufficient to drive normal human mammary epithelial cells (KTB21) to a more invasive and cancer‐like phenotype, while promoting motility and invasiveness in MDA‐MB‐231 cells. Decellularized breast matrix from aged mice leads to loss of E‐cadherin membrane localization in KTB21 cells, increased cell motility and invasion, and increased production of inflammatory cytokines and cancer‐related proteins. The aged matrix upregulates cancer‐related genes in KTB21 cells and enriches a cell subpopulation highly expressing epithelial‐mesenchymal transition‐related genes. Lysyl oxidase knockdown reverts the aged matrix‐induced changes to the young levels; it relocalizes E‐cadherin to cell membrane, and reduces cell motility, invasion, and cytokine production. These results show for the first time that the aging ECM harbors key biochemical, physical, and mechanical cues contributing to invasive and cancer‐like behavior in healthy and cancer mammary cells. Differential response of cells to young and aged ECMs can lead to identification of new targets for cancer treatment and prevention. ItemAging-associated skeletal muscle defects in HER2/Neu transgenic mammary tumor model(Wiley, 2021) Wang, Ruizhong; Kumar, Brijesh; Bhat-Nakshatri, Poornima; Prasad, Mayuri S.; Jacobsen, Max H.; Ovalle, Gabriela; Maguire, Calli; Sandusky, George; Trivedi, Trupti; Mohammad, Khalid S.; Guise, Theresa; Penthala, Narsimha R.; Crooks, Peter A.; Liu, Jianguo; Zimmers, Teresa; Nakshatri, Harikrishna; Surgery, School of MedicineBackground: Loss of skeletal muscle volume and resulting in functional limitations are poor prognostic markers in breast cancer patients. Several molecular defects in skeletal muscle including reduced MyoD levels and increased protein turn over due to enhanced proteosomal activity have been suggested as causes of skeletal muscle loss in cancer patients. However, it is unknown whether molecular defects in skeletal muscle are dependent on tumor etiology. Methods: We characterized functional and molecular defects of skeletal muscle in MMTV-Neu (Neu+) mice (n= 6-12), an animal model that represents HER2+ human breast cancer, and compared the results with well-characterized luminal B breast cancer model MMTV-PyMT (PyMT+). Functional studies such as grip strength, rotarod performance, and ex vivo muscle contraction were performed to measure the effects of cancer on skeletal muscle. Expression of muscle-enriched genes and microRNAs as well as circulating cytokines/chemokines were measured. Since NF-κB pathway plays a significant role in skeletal muscle defects, the ability of NF-κB inhibitor dimethylaminoparthenolide (DMAPT) to reverse skeletal muscle defects was examined. Results: Neu+ mice showed skeletal muscle defects similar to accelerated aging. Compared to age and sex-matched wild type mice, Neu+ tumor-bearing mice had lower grip strength (202±6.9 vs. 179±6.8 g grip force, p=0.0069) and impaired rotarod performance (108±12.1 vs. 30±3.9 seconds, P<0.0001), which was consistent with reduced muscle contractibility (p<0.0001). Skeletal muscle of Neu+ mice (n=6) contained lower levels of CD82+ (16.2±2.9 vs 9.0±1.6) and CD54+ (3.8±0.5 vs 2.4±0.4) muscle stem and progenitor cells (p<0.05), suggesting impaired capacity of muscle regeneration, which was accompanied by decreased MyoD, p53 and miR-486 expression in muscles (p<0.05). Unlike PyMT+ mice, which showed skeletal muscle mitochondrial defects including reduced mitochondria levels and Pgc1β, Neu+ mice displayed accelerated aging-associated changes including muscle fiber shrinkage and increased extracellular matrix deposition. Circulating "aging factor" and cachexia and fibromyalgia-associated chemokine Ccl11 was elevated in Neu+ mice (1439.56±514 vs. 1950±345 pg/ml, p<0.05). Treatment of Neu+ mice with DMAPT significantly restored grip strength (205±6 g force), rotarod performance (74±8.5 seconds), reversed molecular alterations associated with skeletal muscle aging, reduced circulating Ccl11 (1083.26 ±478 pg/ml), and improved animal survival. Conclusions: These results suggest that breast cancer subtype has a specific impact on the type of molecular and structure changes in skeletal muscle, which needs to be taken into consideration while designing therapies to reduce breast cancer-induced skeletal muscle loss and functional limitations. ItemAKT1 Transcriptomic Landscape in Breast Cancer Cells(MDPI, 2022-07-25) George, Bijesh; Gui, Bin; Raguraman, Rajeswari; Paul, Aswathy Mary; Nakshatri, Harikrishna; Pillai, Madhavan Radhakrishna; Kumar, Rakesh; Surgery, School of MedicineOverexpression and hyperactivation of the serine/threonine protein kinase B (AKT) pathway is one of the most common cellular events in breast cancer progression. However, the nature of AKT1-specific genome-wide transcriptomic alterations in breast cancer cells and breast cancer remains unknown to this point. Here, we delineate the impact of selective AKT1 knock down using gene-specific siRNAs or inhibiting the AKT activity with a pan-AKT inhibitor VIII on the nature of transcriptomic changes in breast cancer cells using the genome-wide RNA-sequencing analysis. We found that changes in the cellular levels of AKT1 lead to changes in the levels of a set of differentially expressed genes and, in turn, imply resulting AKT1 cellular functions. In addition to an expected positive relationship between the status of AKT1 and co-expressed cellular genes, our study unexpectedly discovered an inherent role of AKT1 in inhibiting the expression of a subset of genes in both unstimulated and growth factor stimulated breast cancer cells. We found that depletion of AKT1 leads to upregulation of a subset of genes-many of which are also found to be downregulated in breast tumors with elevated high AKT1 as well as upregulated in breast tumors with no detectable AKT expression. Representative experimental validation studies in two breast cancer cell lines showed a reasonable concurrence between the expression data from the RNA-sequencing and qRT-PCR or data from ex vivo inhibition of AKT1 activity in cancer patient-derived cells. In brief, findings presented here provide a resource for further understanding of AKT1-dependent modulation of gene expression in breast cancer cells and broaden the scope and significance of AKT1 targets and their functions. ItemAnastrozole has an association between degree of estrogen suppression and outcomes in early breast cancer and is a ligand for estrogen receptor α(American Association of Cancer Research, 2020-06-15) Ingle, James N.; Cairns, Junmei; Suman, Vera J.; Shepherd, Lois E.; Fasching, Peter A.; Hoskin, Tanya L.; Singh, Ravinder J.; Desta, Zeruesenay; Kalari, Krishna R.; Ellis, Matthew J.; Goss, Paul E.; Chen, Bingshu E.; Volz, Bernhard; Barman, Poulami; Carlson, Erin E.; Haddad, Tufia; Goetz, Matthew P.; Goodnature, Barbara; Cuellar, Matthew E.; Walters, Michael A.; Correia, Cristina; Kaufmann, Scott H.; Weinshilboum, Richard M.; Wang, Liewei; Medicine, School of MedicinePurpose: To determine if the degree of estrogen suppression with aromatase inhibitors (AI: anastrozole, exemestane, letrozole) is associated with efficacy in early-stage breast cancer, and to examine for differences in the mechanism of action between the three AIs. Experimental design: Matched case-control studies [247 matched sets from MA.27 (anastrozole vs. exemestane) and PreFace (letrozole) trials] were undertaken to assess whether estrone (E1) or estradiol (E2) concentrations after 6 months of adjuvant therapy were associated with risk of an early breast cancer event (EBCE). Preclinical laboratory studies included luciferase activity, cell proliferation, radio-labeled ligand estrogen receptor binding, surface plasmon resonance ligand receptor binding, and nuclear magnetic resonance assays. Results: Women with E1 ≥1.3 pg/mL and E2 ≥0.5 pg/mL after 6 months of AI treatment had a 2.2-fold increase in risk (P = 0.0005) of an EBCE, and in the anastrozole subgroup, the increase in risk of an EBCE was 3.0-fold (P = 0.001). Preclinical laboratory studies examined mechanisms of action in addition to aromatase inhibition and showed that only anastrozole could directly bind to estrogen receptor α (ERα), activate estrogen response element-dependent transcription, and stimulate growth of an aromatase-deficient CYP19A1-/- T47D breast cancer cell line. Conclusions: This matched case-control clinical study revealed that levels of estrone and estradiol above identified thresholds after 6 months of adjuvant anastrozole treatment were associated with increased risk of an EBCE. Preclinical laboratory studies revealed that anastrozole, but not exemestane or letrozole, is a ligand for ERα. These findings represent potential steps towards individualized anastrozole therapy. ItemAntagonizing miR-218-5p attenuates Wnt signaling and reduces metastatic bone disease of triple negative breast cancer cells(Impact Journals, 2016-11-29) Taipaleenmäki, Hanna; Farina, Nicholas H.; van Wijnen, Andre J.; Stein, Janet L.; Hesse, Eric; Stein, Gary S.; Lian, Jane B.; Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, IU School of MedicineWnt signaling is implicated in bone formation and activated in breast cancer cells promoting primary and metastatic tumor growth. A compelling question is whether osteogenic miRNAs that increase Wnt activity for bone formation are aberrantly expressed in breast tumor cells to support metastatic bone disease. Here we report that miR-218-5p is highly expressed in bone metastases from breast cancer patients, but is not detected in normal mammary epithelial cells. Furthermore, inhibition of miR-218-5p impaired the growth of bone metastatic MDA-MB-231 cells in the bone microenvironment in vivo. These findings indicate a positive role for miR-218-5p in bone metastasis. Bioinformatic and biochemical analyses revealed a positive correlation between aberrant miR-218-5p expression and activation of Wnt signaling in breast cancer cells. Mechanistically, miR-218-5p targets the Wnt inhibitors Sclerostin (SOST) and sFRP-2, which highly enhances Wnt signaling. In contrast, delivery of antimiR-218-5p decreased Wnt activity and the expression of metastasis-related genes, including bone sialoprotein (BSP/IBSP), osteopontin (OPN/SPP1) and CXCR-4, implicating a Wnt/miR-218-5p regulatory network in bone metastatic breast cancer. Furthermore, miR-218-5p also mediates the Wnt-dependent up-regulation of PTHrP, a key cytokine promoting cancer-induced osteolysis. Antagonizing miR-218-5p reduced the expression of PTHrP and Rankl, inhibited osteoclast differentiation in vitro and in vivo, and prevented the development of osteolytic lesions in a preclinical metastasis model. We conclude that pathological elevation of miR-218-5p in breast cancer cells activates Wnt signaling to enhance metastatic properties of breast cancer cells and cancer-induced osteolytic disease, suggesting that miR-218-5p could be an attractive therapeutic target for preventing disease progression. ItemAPC Loss Prevents Doxorubicin-Induced Cell Death by Increasing Drug Efflux and a Chemoresistant Cell Population in Breast Cancer(MDPI, 2023-04-21) Stefanski, Casey D.; Arnason, Anne; Maloney, Sara; Kotsen, Janna; Powers, Elizabeth; Zhang, Jian-Ting; Prosperi, Jenifer R.; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of MedicineChemoresistance is a major health concern affecting cancer patients. Resistance is multifactorial, with one mechanism being the increased expression of ABC transporters (such as MDR1 and MRP1), which are drug efflux transporters capable of preventing intracellular accumulation of drugs and cell death. Our lab showed that the loss of Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) caused an intrinsic resistance to doxorubicin (DOX), potentially through an enhanced tumor-initiating cell (TIC) population and the increased activation of STAT3 mediating the expression of MDR1 in the absence of WNT being activated. Here, in primary mouse mammary tumor cells, the loss of APC decreased the accumulation of DOX while increasing the protein levels of MDR1 and MRP1. We demonstrated decreased APC mRNA and protein levels in breast cancer patients compared with normal tissue. Using patient samples and a panel of human breast cancer cell lines, we found no significant trend between APC and either MDR1 or MRP1. Since the protein expression patterns did not show a correlation between the ABC transporters and the expression of APC, we evaluated the drug transporter activity. In mouse mammary tumor cells, the pharmacological inhibition or genetic silencing of MDR1 or MRP1, respectively, decreased the TIC population and increased DOX-induced apoptosis, supporting the use of ABC transporter inhibitors as therapeutic targets in APC-deficient tumors.