Novel rodent model of breast cancer survival with persistent anxiety-like behavior and inflammation.

Pyter LM, Suarez-Kelly LP, Carson WE 3rd, Kaur J, Bellisario J, Bever SR
Behav Brain Res 330 108-117 01/14/2017


Breast cancer survivors are an expanding population that is troubled by lasting mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. These issues reduce quality-of-life throughout survivorhood. Research indicates that tumor biology, cancer treatments, and stress contribute to these mood disturbances. Although the mechanisms underlying these various causes remain under investigation, neuroinflammation is a leading hypothesis. To date, rodent models of recurrence-free tumor survival for understanding mechanisms by which these behavioral issues persist after cancer are lacking. Here, we test the extent to which potential behavioral symptoms persist after mammary tumor removal in mice (i.e., establishment of a cancer survivor model), while also empirically testing the causal role of tumors in the development of neuroinflammatory-mediated affective-like behaviors. Complete surgical resection of a non-metastatic orthotopic, syngeneic mammary tumor reversed tumor-induced increases of circulating cytokines (IL-6, CXCL1, IL-10) and myeloid-derived cells and modulated neuroinflammatory gene expression (Cd11b, Cxcl1). Multiple anxiety-like behaviors and some central and peripheral immune markers persisted or progressed three weeks after tumor resection. Together, these data indicate that persistent behavioral changes into cancer survivorhood may be due, in part, to changes in immunity that remain even after successful tumor removal. This novel survivor paradigm represents an improvement in modeling prevalent cancer survivorship issues and studying the basic mechanisms by which cancer/cancer treatments influence the brain and behavior.

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