The role of astrocytes in brain metastasis at the interface of circulating tumour cells and the blood brain barrier
Pranjol, M. Z. I.
JournalFrontiers in bioscience
PublisherBioscience Research Institute
Rights© 2021 The Author(s). Published by BRI.
MetadataShow full item record
Tumour metastasis to the brain is a complex process involving crosstalk between the circulating tumour cells and the blood brain barrier (BBB). Astrocytes, which reside in the abluminal surface of the microvasculature of the BBB, are now known to play an essential role in tumour cell migration and invasion into the brain parenchyma. For instance, pro-inflammatory astrocyte secretions, including TNF-α, IL-6, CXCL10 as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids interact with circulating tumour cells to promote migration and proliferation. Additionally, astrocyte and tumour cell derived MMPs play a vital role in tumour cell invasion through the BBB. Understanding these complex interactions between tumour cells and astrocytes in the tumour microenvironment may contribute to the development of novel therapeutics for brain metastasis. Therefore, in this review, we present key interactions within the neurovascular unit of the BBB in the tumour microenvironment that significantly aids cancer metastasis, focusing particularly on astrocytes.