The pattern of metastasis of human melanoma to the central nervous system is not influenced by integrin αvβ3 expression

Benno Ksters, Johan R. Westphal, Debby Smits, Dirk J. Ruiter, Pieter Wesseling, Ulrich Keilholz, Robert M.W. De Waal

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20 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the effect of integrin αvβ3 expression on the metastatic pattern of human melanoma cells in the central nervous system (CNS). For this purpose, we developed a hematogenous CNS melanoma metastasis model in nude mice using a modified internal carotid artery infusion technique. This protocol revealed 2 different patterns of CNS metastasis. The integrin αvβ3-expressing melanoma lines Mel57 and Zkr nearly exclusively produced metastases in the brain parenchyma, whereas cells of the BLM and MV3 lines, devoid of integrin αvβ3 expression, preferentially metastasized to dura mater and leptomeninges. Treatment with hyaluronidase to obtain single BLM cell suspensions did not influence the metastatic pattern, indicating that this was not simply the result of entrapment of tumor cell aggregates in large-sized leptomeningeal vessels. The role of integrin αvβ3 expression in the process of metastasis was tested by transfection of BLM, but did not lead to an altered pattern of metastasis. We did observe, however, slower growth of the transfected tumors, although the in vitro growth rate was unaltered, indicating a reduction in tumorigenicity. We conclude from our findings that CNS metastasis of melanoma cells in the mouse xenograft model occurs in at least 2 different but very reproducible patterns. Although it is predicted that adhesion of tumor cells to endothelial cells plays a role in this phenomenon, tumor cell integrin αvβ3 expression per se does not explain the difference in metastatic behavior in the CNS. We assume that other, as yet unknown factors, must be involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-180
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • CNS metastasis
  • Integrin αβ
  • Melanoma
  • Mouse animal model


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