High grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women. New evidence suggests that HGSOC arises in the fallopian tube and then colonizes the ovary before spreading into the peritoneal space. Therefore, due to the proximity of this metastasis, an experimental design was optimized using imaging mass spectrometry to capture the spatial composition of small molecules uniquely expressed when fallopian-tube-derived tumor cells were grown in the microenvironment of the ovary as a model of primary metastasis. The observed mass-to-charge ratios (m/z's) that were induced specifically in coculture represent small molecules that may contribute to the metastasis of HGSOC selectively to the ovary. Human fallopian tube epithelial HGSOC and tumorigenic murine oviductal epithelial cells, but not normal cell types, repeatedly induced a signal from the ovary at m/z 170. This signal was identified as norepinephrine, which was confirmed to stimulate invasion of ovarian cancer cells lacking wild-type p53. These molecules may reveal pathways that contribute to metastasis and biological targets for therapeutic intervention to block ovarian metastasis of fallopian-tube-derived HGSOC. The developed mass spectrometry method can be adapted to other mammalian-based model systems for investigation of untargeted metabolomics that facilitate metastasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)