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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2000 Oct;63(3):249-59.

Treatment with the pure antiestrogen faslodex (ICI 182780) induces tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1) expression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells.

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  • 1Institute of Morphology and Tumor Research, DSHS Cologne, Germany.


Apoptosis induction by the pure antiestrogen faslodex, also known as ICI 182780 (ICI), is associated with an effective down-regulation of Bcl-2 expression in the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. Recent observations point out that beside members of the Bcl-2 family also the TNFR1 signaling pathway may be involved in apoptosis induction by antiestrogens. In this report we have analyzed the expression of members of the TNFR1 signaling pathway during the apoptotic process induced by the pure antiestrogen faslodex and by tamoxifen (Tam) in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Treatment with 10(-7) M ICI or 10(-7) M Tam leads to a time dependent increase of TNFR1 and TRADD steady-state mRNA levels in MCF-7 cells. In contrast, Bcl-2 expression was strongly decreased following administration of ICI but only weakly after administration of Tam. Western blot analysis and studies by the use of fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry revealed a time dependent induction of TNFR1 protein and cell surface expression in MCF-7 cells in response to treatment with ICI. To investigate if TNFR1 is functionally involved in apoptosis induction by antiestrogens, we tested whether TNFR1 blocking antibodies can counteract the growth inhibitory action of Tam and ICI. Coincubation of MCF-7 cells with antiestrogens (ICI or Tam) and blocking TNFR1 antibodies lead to an increase in cell viability. Our results provide evidence for a cross talk between the TNFR1 signaling pathway and antiestrogens during the process of apoptosis induction in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The superiority of the pure antiestrogen ICI to induce apoptosis in MCF-7 cells may result from its capability to modulate the induction of apoptosis via Bcl-2 as well as TNF-associated signal transduction pathways.

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