An iminosugar-based heparanase inhibitor heparastatin (SF4) suppresses infiltration of neutrophils and monocytes into inflamed dorsal air pouches.
Degradation of extracellular matrix is associated with extravasation of metastatic tumor cells and inflammatory cells. Heparanase, the heparan sulfate-specific endo-beta-glucuronidase, is a key enzyme for the matrix degradation, yet its involvement in extravasation and invasion during pathological processes was not fully clarified in vivo. In the present study, we examined heparanase expression in mouse experimental models, lung metastasis of melanoma and skin infiltration of neutrophils. Sixteen novel monoclonal antibodies specific for mouse heparanase were established by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with a recombinant mouse proheparanase, immunocytochemical staining of B16F10 melanoma cells cultured in vitro, and immunoprecipitation of the lysate of heparanase transfectant cells. Heparanase expression in metastatic nodules of B16F10 melanoma cells and in neutrophils localized in the inflamed skin was immunohistochemically detected using a monoclonal antibody RIO-1 that recognized the C-terminus of mouse heparanase. Homogeneous and strong heparanase staining was observed in 46% of the lung micrometastases of B16F10 melanoma cells. The staining was intensely positive on the invasive front of larger established metastasis nodules, but it was weak or heterogeneous inside the nodules. Heparanase expression in skin-infiltrating neutrophils was examined after inducing local inflammation with croton oil. The monoclonal antibody stained a significant portion of neutrophils inside and along the blood vessels, whereas it did not stain dermal neutrophils located distant from the vasculatures. The present study strongly suggests that both melanoma cells and neutrophils transiently express heparanase before and during the invasive process in vivo.