xCT (Slc7a11), the specific subunit of the cystine/glutamate antiporter system xc-, is present in the brain and on immune cells, where it is known to modulate behavior and inflammatory responses. In a variety of cancers -including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)-, xCT is upregulated by tumor cells to support their growth and spread. Therefore, we studied the impact of xCT deletion in pancreatic tumor cells (Panc02) and/or the host (xCT-/- mice) on tumor burden, inflammation, cachexia and mood disturbances. Deletion of xCT in the tumor strongly reduced tumor growth. Targeting xCT in the host and not the tumor resulted only in a partial reduction of tumor burden, while it did attenuate tumor-related systemic inflammation and prevented an increase in immunosuppressive regulatory T cells. The latter effect could be replicated by specific xCT deletion in immune cells. xCT deletion in the host or the tumor differentially modulated neuroinflammation. When mice were grafted with xCT-deleted tumor cells, hypothalamic inflammation was reduced and, accordingly, food intake improved. Tumor bearing xCT-/- mice showed a trend of reduced hippocampal neuroinflammation with less anxiety- and depressive-like behavior. Taken together, targeting xCT may have beneficial effects on pancreatic cancer-related comorbidities, beyond reducing tumor burden. The search for novel and specific xCT inhibitors is warranted as they may represent a holistic therapy in pancreatic cancer.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)275-286
Aantal pagina's12
TijdschriftBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
StatusPublished - mei 2024

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