The Department of Biomedicine

BBB-seminar: Helge Wiig

Access to the tissue microenvironment through isolation of interstitial fluid and lymph

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Helge Wiig, Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen

The main focus of the seminar will be the cellular microenvironment, more specifically the tumour cell microenvironment, i.e. the interstitial fluid bathing the tumour cell and the lymph draining the tumour via the lymphatics. Access to such fluid may be restricted, limiting our knowledge on fluid balance parameters and local concentration of signalling substances. In one part of the talk I will address microenvironmental signalling processes in spleen and bone marrow, two organs where access to interstitial fluid is limited because of lack of appropriate methods for fluid sampling. Most of the production and maturation of blood cells and platelets takes place within the bone marrow microenvironment, whereas important immune cell modifications occur in the spleen. Rapid changes in spleen metabolism occur to accommodate pertinent immune reactions as well as replacement of erythrocytes and platelets during e.g. infections, neoplasia and blood loss. I will report data from studies where we have been using newly developed techniques (tissue centrifugation and lymph sampling) to study local cytokine responses and cellular events during inflammation and leukaemia development. We show that the plasma levels of these substances may not reflect the biologically relevant concentration that bathes the cells in the target organ. Furthermore, I will present data from experiments where we have isolated native interstitial fluid from human carcinomas by translating for use in patients, an approach developed in experimental animals. Thereby we get access to the extracellular tumour subproteome, and can use the isolated fluid as a source for identification by mass spectrometry of cancer specific extracellular proteins. In the future, such proteins may serve as molecular markers for early detection and prediction as well as function as targets in molecular imaging and therapy.

Chair: Rolf Kåre Reed, Department of Biomedicine