Dissecting mast cell phenotype and function during colorectal cancer progression
|Giuseppe Sciume'||Dottorando/Assegnista/Specializzando componente non strutturato del gruppo di ricerca|
|Nadia Domenica Milito||Dottorando/Assegnista/Specializzando componente non strutturato del gruppo di ricerca|
|Angela Gismondi||Componenti strutturati del gruppo di ricerca|
|Giovanni Bernardini||Componenti strutturati del gruppo di ricerca|
Mast cells (MCs) are tissue resident sentinels that orchestrate inflammation in response to helminth infection and allergens. They are also frequently observed in tumors, suggesting their contribution in the transition from persistent inflammation to carcinoma. However, the role of MCs in the contest of colorectal cancer (CRC) microenviroment is still debated. In particular, whether different subsets of MCs infiltrate the tumor in different stages of disease progression and whether and how a bi-directional cross-talk between MCs and tumor cells affects tumor development has not been clarified yet.
To gain insight into these issues we will use both murine models of CRC progression as well as human large intestine biopsies of CRC patients undergoing tumor resection. We will focus on MC phenotype and functions both in term of granule-stored proteases and ability to produce different pro-inflammatory cytokines and pro-angiogenic factors in order to characterize discrete subsets of MCs in tumor microenvironment and their impact on disease progression.
Understanding the role of MCs in tumor development and progression would be of critical importance for the development of new targeted therapies for CRC.