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Over 20% of cancer patients will suffer metastatic spread to the brain, and prognosis remains poor. Communication between tumour cells and host tissue is essential during metastasis, yet little is known of the processes underlying such interactions in the brain.Here we test the hypothesis that cross-talk between tumour cells and host brain cells, through tumour cell leukocyte function associated protein-1 (LFA-1), is critical in metastasis development. Temporal expression of LFA-1 and its major ligand intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) was determined in two different mouse models of brain metastasis. Marked upregulation of both proteins was found, co-localising with astrocytes, microglia and tumour cells themselves. Silencing of LFA-1 expression in MDA231Br-GFP cells prior to intracerebral injection resulted in > 70% reduction in tumour burden compared to control MDA231Br-GFP cells (p < 0.005, n = 5). Subsequent qRT-PCR analysis of brain tissue revealed significant reductions in COX-2, VEGF and eNOS from host brain tissue, but not tumour cells, in mice injected with LFA-1 knockdown cells (p < 0.0001, n = 5). Finally, expression of both LFA-1 and ICAM-1 was demonstrated in human brain metastasis samples.The results of this study suggest LFA-1 as a new target in brain metastasis therapy and highlight the potential synergy with current anti-COX-2 and anti-NOS therapies.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





52375 - 52391


COX-2, LFA-1, brain metastasis, cellular adhesion molecules, eNOS, Animals, Brain Neoplasms, Cell Line, Tumor, Cyclooxygenase 2, Down-Regulation, Female, Heterografts, Humans, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1, Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, SCID, Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III, Receptor Cross-Talk