Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) injected intravenously into athymic nude mice increases the ability of weakly metastatic human colorectal carcinoma (CRC) cells to colonize liver in an experimental metastasis assay. Since CEA acts as an intercellular adhesion molecule in vitro, several investigators have postulated that this facilitation of experimental metastasis may be mediated through adhesion between CEA on CRC and CEA-binding proteins on Kupffer or other cells lining the hepatic sinusoid. The present work tested this postulate both by intravital fluorescence videomicroscopy in vivo and in adhesion assays in vitro to enriched populations of Kupffer cells and hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells (SEC). The data indicate that CEA expression does not effect adhesion to enriched Kupffer cells or SEC in vitro. These data suggest that CEA enhances liver colonization through another mechanism, possibly one that involves modulation of the hepatic response to tumor cell implantation.
- Kupffer cells
- Metastasis carcinoembryonic antigen
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research