Targeting specificity of dendritic cells on breast cancer stem cells: in vitro and in vivo evaluations
Sinh Truong Nguyen,1 Huyen Lam Nguyen,1 Viet Quoc Pham,1 Giang Thuy Nguyen,1 Cuong Do-Thanh Tran,1 Ngoc Kim Phan,1,2 Phuc Van Pham1,2
1Laboratory of Stem Cell Research and Application, 2Faculty of Biology, University of Science, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Abstract: Breast cancer is a leading cause of death in women, and almost all complications are due to chemotherapy resistance. Drug-resistant cells with stem cell phenotypes are thought to cause failure in breast cancer chemotherapy. Dendritic cell (DC) therapy is a potential approach to eradicate these cells. This study evaluates the specificity of DCs for breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) in vitro and in vivo. BCSCs were enriched by a verapamil-resistant screening method, and reconfirmed by ALDH expression analysis and mammosphere assay. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were isolated from allogeneic murine bone marrow. DCs were induced from bone marrow-derived monocytes with 20 ng/mL GC-MSF and 20 ng/mL IL-4. Immature DCs were primed with BCSC- or MSC-derived antigens to make two kinds of mature DCs: BCSC-DCs and MSC-DCs, respectively. In vitro ability of BCSC-DCs and MSC-DCs with cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) to inhibit BCSCs was tested using the xCELLigence technique. In vivo, BCSC-DCs and MSC-DCs were transfused into the peripheral blood of BCSC tumor-bearing mice. The results show that in vitro BCSC-DCs significantly inhibited BCSC proliferation at a DC:CTL ratio of 1:40, while MSC-DCs nonsignificantly decreased BCSC proliferation. In vivo, tumor sizes decreased from 18.8% to 23% in groups treated with BCSC-DCs; in contrast, tumors increased 14% in the control group (RPMI 1640) and 47% in groups treated with MSC-DCs. The results showed that DC therapy could target and be specific to BCSCs. DCs primed with MSCs could trigger tumor growth. These results also indicate that DCs may be a promising therapy for treating drug-resistant cancer cells as well as cancer stem cells.
Keywords: dendritic cells, 4T,1 cell line, breast tumor, breast cancer stem cells, verapamil, drug resistance