Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Exp Metastasis. 2000;18(6):481-92.

Organ-specificity of the extravasation process: an ultrastructural study.

Author information

Department of Molecular Pathology, Joint Research Organization of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Semmelweis University, Budapest.


The process of extravasation of the high metastatic Lewis lung carcinoma line was examined in different organs. Four of the five organs (liver, lungs, brain and adrenals) represent the most frequent metastatic sites in humans. In the case of each organ 150-350 tumor cells were analysed. The interaction of tumor cells with endothelial cells and the basement membrane showed significant differences between the organs. In the liver and lungs, endothelial cells were found to migrate onto the surface of the tumor cells, resulting in the removal of tumor cells from the circulation. The process was initiated by development of cytoplasmic projections on the luminal surface of the endothelial cells. In the liver only half of the tumor cells showed basement membrane degradation even after 24 h, although 6 h after injection 40% of the tumor cells were sequestered from the circulation. In the adrenals and brain, tumor cells were not covered by endothelial cells instead, limited retraction of endothelial cells was followed by penetration of the basement membrane. In the kidney both types of tumor cell-endothelial cell interactions were observed, but the process of extravasation was not completed, stopping as the tumor cells reached the basement membrane or the mesangial matrix. The time course of tumor cell extravasation also showed significant differences between the organs. The process was most rapid in case of the liver and adrenals. By 6 h 40-50% of the tumor cells were in the process of extravasation or were in an extracapillary position. These organs are preferential metastatic sites of this tumor line. The time of extravasation was much longer in the other organs (lungs 16 h, brain 48 h), for which this tumor line shows no preference.


(1) Type and duration of tumor cell extravasation differ between the organs. (2) The time needed to reach extraluminal position, but not the type of extravasation correlates with the organ preference. (3) Endothelial cells of the lungs and liver can play a much more active role in the process of extravasation than previously suggested. (4) Tumor cells can complete the metastatic process without reaching a complete extracapillary position; contact with the basement membrane or extracellular matrix seems to be sufficient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center