CXCL12 loaded-dermal filler captures CXCR4 expressing melanoma circulating tumor cells

Caterina Ieranò, Crescenzo D’Alterio, Simona Giarra, Maria Napolitano, Giuseppina Rea, Luigi Portella, Assunta Santagata, Anna Maria Trotta, Antonio Barbieri, Virginia Campani, Antonio Luciano, Claudio Arra, Anna Maria Anniciello, Gerardo Botti, Laura Mayol, Giuseppe De Rosa, Roberto Pacelli, Stefania Scala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Development of distant metastasis relies on interactions between cancer and stromal cells. CXCL12, also known as stromal-derived factor 1α (SDF-1α), is a major chemokine constitutively secreted in bone marrow, lymph nodes, liver and lung, playing a critical role in the migration and seeding of neoplastic cells. CXCL12 activates the CXCR4 receptor that is overexpressed in several human cancer cells. Recent evidence reveals that tumors induce pre-metastatic niches in target organ producing tumor-derived factors. Pre-metastatic niches represent a tumor growth-favoring microenvironment in absence of cancer cells. A commercially available dermal filler, hyaluronic acid (HA) -based gel, loaded with CXCL12 (CLG) reproduced a “fake” pre-metastatic niche. In vitro, B16-hCXCR4-GFP, human cxcr4 expressing murine melanoma cells efficiently migrated toward CLG. In vivo, CLGs and empty gels (EGs) were subcutaneously injected into C57BL/6 mice and 5 days later B16-hCXCR4-GFP cells were intravenously inoculated. CLGs were able to recruit a significantly higher number of B16-hCXCR4-GFP cells as compared to EGs, with reduced lung metastasis in mice carrying CLG. CLG were infiltrated by higher number of CD45-positive leukocytes, mainly neutrophils CD11b+Ly6G+ cells, myeloid CD11b+Ly6G- and macrophages F4/80. CLG recovered cells recapitulated the features of B16-hCXCR4-GFP (epithelial, melanin rich, MELAN A/ S100/ c-Kit/CXCR4 pos; α-SMA neg). Thus a HA-based dermal filler loaded with CXCL12 can attract and trap CXCR4+tumor cells. The CLG trapped cells can be recovered and biologically characterized. As a corollary, a reduction in CXCR4 dependent lung metastasis was detected.

Original languageEnglish
Article number562
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'CXCL12 loaded-dermal filler captures CXCR4 expressing melanoma circulating tumor cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this