Our previous work demonstrated that the 12-lipoxygenase metabolite of arachidonic acid, 12(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid [12(S)-HETE] induced a nondestructive and reversible retraction of cultured endothelial cells. In the current study we tested the hypothesis that tumor cells produce 12(S)-HETE during their interactions with endothelial cells which in turn induces endothelial cell retraction. Coincubation of Lewis lung carcinoma cells or elutriated B16 amelanotic melanoma (B16a) cells but not 3T3 fibroblasts with microvascular endothelial cells (CD3) resulted in a time- and concentration-dependent retraction of the CD3 monolayers as revealed by quantitative binding assays and phase contrast microscopy. Lewis lung carcinoma cell-induced endothelial cell retraction was blocked by specific lipoxygenase inhibitors but not by cyclooxygenase inhibitors, suggesting the involvement of a lipoxygenase metabolite(s). Radioimmunoassay and high-performance liquid chromatography analysis of tumor cell extracts identified 12(S)-HETE as the major lipoxygenase metabolite of arachidonic acid and tumor cell generation of 12(S)-HETE was specifically blocked by a select 12-lipoxygenase inhibitor N-benzyl-N-hydroxy-5-phenyl-pentamide. The identity and stereochemistry of tumor cell-derived 12-HETE was substantiated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis and chiral phase high-performance liquid chromatography, respectively. Lewis lung carcinoma cell adhesion to CD3 monolayers was accompanied by an enhanced 12(S)-HETE biosynthesis by tumor cells, which paralleled the tumor cell-induced endothelial cell retraction in a cell number-dependent manner. Pretreatment of tumor cells with N-benzyl-N-hydroxy-5-phenylpentamide inhibited both increased 12-(S)-HETE biosynthesis and tumor cell-induced endothelial cell retraction. Highly metastatic variants of elutriated B16a cells which had been shown to produce large quantities of 12(S)-HETE induced significant CD3 cell retraction, while low metastatic subpopulations of B16a cells which synthesized no or little 12(S)-HETE did not induce endothelial cell retraction. These results suggest that 12(S)-HETE synthesis during tumor cell-endothelial cell interactions may represent a key contributory factor in cancer metastasis.

The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked advertisement in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.


This work was supported by NIH Grants CA47115, CA 29997, and a grant from Harper Hospital, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI (to K. V. H.), NIH Grants CA 47479 and ES00267 (to L. J. M.), Grant GM 15431 (to I. B.), and NATO Linkage Grant Program LG 921311 (to K. V. H. and J. T).

This content is only available via PDF.