Loss of Cdh1 and Trp53 in the uterus induces chronic inflammation with modification of tumor microenvironment.

PMID 24998851


Type II endometrial carcinomas (ECs) are estrogen independent, poorly differentiated tumors that behave in an aggressive manner. As TP53 mutation and CDH1 inactivation occur in 80% of human endometrial type II carcinomas, we hypothesized that mouse uteri lacking both Trp53 and Cdh1 would exhibit a phenotype indicative of neoplastic transformation. Mice with conditional ablation of Cdh1 and Trp53 (Cdh1(d/d)Trp53(d/d)) clearly demonstrate architectural features characteristic of type II ECs, including focal areas of papillary differentiation, protruding cytoplasm into the lumen (hobnailing) and severe nuclear atypia at 6 months of age. Further, Cdh1(d/d)Trp53(d/d) tumors in 12-month-old mice were highly aggressive, and metastasized to nearby and distant organs within the peritoneal cavity, such as abdominal lymph nodes, mesentery and peri-intestinal adipose tissues, demonstrating that tumorigenesis in this model proceeds through the universally recognized morphological intermediates associated with type II endometrial neoplasia. We also observed abundant cell proliferation and complex angiogenesis in the uteri of Cdh1(d/d)Trp53(d/d) mice. Our microarray analysis found that most of the genes differentially regulated in the uteri of Cdh1(d/d)Trp53(d/d) mice were involved in inflammatory responses. CD163 and Arg1, markers for tumor-associated macrophages, were also detected and increased in the uteri of Cdh1(d/d)Trp53(d/d) mice, suggesting that an inflammatory tumor microenvironment with immune cell recruitment is augmenting tumor development in Cdh1(d/d)Trp53(d/d) uteri. Further, inflammatory mediators secreted from CDH1-negative, TP53 mutant endometrial cancer cells induced normal macrophages to express inflammatory-related genes through activation of nuclear factor-κB signaling. These results indicate that absence of CDH1 and TP53 in endometrial cells initiates chronic inflammation, promotes tumor microenvironment development following the recruitment of macrophages and promotes aggressive ECs.