Stroma modulation of radiation response in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: Insights from zebrafish larvae xenografts

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Background: The tumour microenvironment (TME) of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) consists of different subtypes of cells that interact with the tumour or with each other. This study investigates the possibility of co-culturing HNSCC cells with different stroma cells in a zebrafish xenograft model, focusing on the effect of stroma cells on HNSCC growth and response to irradiation. Material and method: HNSCC metastatic cell line HSC-3 was used along with five types of stroma cells: normal gingival fibroblasts (NOF), cancer associated fibroblasts (CAF), macrophages, CD4+ T cells, and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). The mixture of HSC-3 cells and each-stroma cell type-was injected into 2-day post-fertilization zebrafish embryos, and the effect of stroma cells on tumour growth was tested. The study also aimed to mimic the HNSCC tumour by injecting a mixture of HSC-3 cells, CAFs, macrophages, and HUVECs into zebrafish embryos and testing the effect of these stroma cells on the cancer cells' response to irradiation compared to HSC-3-only tumours. Results: CAFs had a significant inducement effect on tumour size, while HUVECs showed the opposite effect. The irradiated group of HSC-3-only tumour had a significantly smaller tumor cell area compared to the control, while the group with stroma cells and HSC-3 cells showed cancer cells being resistant to irradiation. Conclusion: This is the first report of co-culturing cancer cells with several types of stroma cells using a zebrafish xenograft model. This study also highlighted the role of stroma cells in turning the cancer cells from radioresponsive to radioresistant.

TidskriftExperimental Cell Research
Antal sidor7
StatusPublicerad - 1 feb. 2024
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

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