Loss of Host Type-I IFN Signaling Accelerates Metastasis and Impairs NK-cell Antitumor Function in Multiple Models of Breast Cancer Academic Article uri icon


  • Metastatic progression is the major cause of breast cancer-related mortality. By examining multiple syngeneic preclinical breast cancer models in mice lacking a functional type-I interferon receptor (Ifnar1(-/-) mice), we show that host-derived type-I interferon (IFN) signaling is a critical determinant of metastatic spread that is independent of primary tumor growth. In particular, we show that bone metastasis can be accelerated in Balb/c Ifnar1(-/-) mice bearing either 4T1 or 66cl4 orthotopic tumors and, for the first time, present data showing the development of bone metastasis in the C57Bl/6 spontaneous MMTV-PyMT-driven model of tumorigenesis. Further exploration of these results revealed that endogenous type-I IFN signaling to the host hematopoietic system is a key determinant of metastasis-free survival and critical to the responsiveness of the circulating natural killer (NK)-cell population. We find that in vivo-stimulated NK cells derived from wild-type, but not Ifnar1(-/-), mice can eliminate the 4T1 and 66cl4 breast tumor lines with varying kinetics in vitro. Together, this study indicates that the dysregulated immunity resulting from a loss of host type-I IFN signaling is sufficient to drive metastasis, and provides a rationale for targeting the endogenous type-I IFN pathway as an antimetastatic strategy.

publication date

  • 2015