Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cancer Res. 2006 Jul 1;66(13):6699-707.

Acidic extracellular pH promotes experimental metastasis of human melanoma cells in athymic nude mice.

Author information

  • 1Group of Radiation Biology and Tumor Physiology, Department of Radiation Biology, Institute for Cancer Research, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Montebello, N-0310 Oslo, Norway. e.k.rofstad@labmed.uio.no


Extracellular pH (pH(e)) is lower in many tumors than in the corresponding normal tissue. The significance of acidic pH(e) in the development of metastatic disease was investigated in the present work. Human melanoma cells (A-07, D-12, and T-22) were cultured in vitro at pH(e) 6.8 or 7.4 (control) before being inoculated into the tail vein of BALB/c nu/nu mice for formation of experimental pulmonary metastases. Cell invasiveness was studied in vitro by using Matrigel invasion chambers and angiogenesis was studied in vivo by using an intradermal assay. Protein secretion was measured by ELISA and immunocapture assays. Cells cultured at acidic pH(e) showed increased secretion of proteinases and proangiogenic factors, enhanced invasive and angiogenic potential, and enhanced potential to develop experimental metastases. Acidity-induced metastasis was inhibited by treatment with the general matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitor GM6001, the general cysteine proteinase inhibitor E-64, or blocking antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) or interleukin-8 (IL-8). Our study indicates that acidic pH(e) promotes experimental pulmonary metastasis in A-07, D-12, and T-22 human melanoma cells by a common mechanism involving acidity-induced up-regulation of the proteolytic enzymes MMP-2, MMP-9, cathepsin B, and cathepsin L and acidity-induced up-regulation of the proangiogenic factors VEGF-A and IL-8. One consequence of this observation is that treatment strategies involving deliberate tumor acidification to improve the efficacy of chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy, and hyperthermia should be avoided. Moreover, the possibility that the pH(e) of the primary tumor may be an important prognostic parameter for melanoma patients merits clinical investigation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk