Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2016 Mar 9;11(3):e0151155. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151155. eCollection 2016.

Selection of a Relevant In Vitro Blood-Brain Barrier Model to Investigate Pro-Metastatic Features of Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines.

Author information

Université d'Artois (UArtois), EA2465, LBHE, Lens, F-62307, France.
Structural and Functional Glycobiology Unit, UMR CNRS 8576, University of Lille, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France.
Cell Plasticity and Cancer, U908 INSERM, University of Lille, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France.
Research Oncology, King's College London, London, SE1 9RT, United Kingdom.


Around 7-17% of metastatic breast cancer patients will develop brain metastases, associated with a poor prognosis. To reach the brain parenchyma, cancer cells need to cross the highly restrictive endothelium of the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB). As treatments for brain metastases are mostly inefficient, preventing cancer cells to reach the brain could provide a relevant and important strategy. For that purpose an in vitro approach is required to identify cellular and molecular interaction mechanisms between breast cancer cells and BBB endothelium, notably at the early steps of the interaction. However, while numerous studies are performed with in vitro models, the heterogeneity and the quality of BBB models used is a limitation to the extrapolation of the obtained results to in vivo context, showing that the choice of a model that fulfills the biological BBB characteristics is essential. Therefore, we compared pre-established and currently used in vitro models from different origins (bovine, mice, human) in order to define the most appropriate tool to study interactions between breast cancer cells and the BBB. On each model, the BBB properties and the adhesion capacities of breast cancer cell lines were evaluated. As endothelial cells represent the physical restriction site of the BBB, all the models consisted of endothelial cells from animal or human origins. Among these models, only the in vitro BBB model derived from human stem cells both displayed BBB properties and allowed measurement of meaningful different interaction capacities of the cancer cell lines. Importantly, the measured adhesion and transmigration were found to be in accordance with the cancer cell lines molecular subtypes. In addition, at a molecular level, the inhibition of ganglioside biosynthesis highlights the potential role of glycosylation in breast cancer cells adhesion capacities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center