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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Jun 25;319(2):690-6.

Breast cancer cell line MDA-MB 231 exerts a potent and direct anti-apoptotic effect on mature osteoclasts.

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  • 1Unité d'Etude des Mécanismes de la Résorption Osseuse, UPRES-EA 2086, Faculté de Pharmacie, 1, rue des Louvels, 80037 Amiens Cedex, France.


Cancer cells metastasized to bone stimulate osteoclastogenesis resulting in bone destruction. However, the influence of tumor cells on fully differentiated osteoclasts is much less known. We postulated that breast cancer cells directly stimulate the survival of mature osteoclasts. We thus tested the effect of conditioned media (CM) prepared from MDA-MB-231 cells on the activity and apoptosis of osteoclasts isolated from 10-day-old rabbit long bones. First, we demonstrated that CM increased the bone resorbing activity in our cell model of rabbit mature osteoclasts. Using a highly purified osteoclast cell population, we found that MDA-MB-231 CM dramatically inhibited osteoclast apoptosis. In the presence of 20% CM, apoptosis was decreased by approximately 60%. LY294002, a PI3 kinase inhibitor, strongly prevented the CM anti-apoptotic effect. Neutralizing experiments with human antibody revealed that macrophage-colony stimulating factor originating from MDA-MB 231 cells was possibly involved in the CM anti-apoptotic effect. These results suggest that breast cancer cells, in addition to stimulating osteoclastogenesis, potently inhibit mature osteoclast apoptosis, a mechanism which may greatly contribute to their osteolytic potential.

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