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Clin Cancer Res. 2005 Jan 15;11(2 Pt 1):490-7.

Involvement of chemokine receptor 4/stromal cell-derived factor 1 system during osteosarcoma tumor progression.

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  • 1Department of Oncological Sciences and Laboratories of Clinical Oncology, University of Turin Medical School, IRCC Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, Strada Provinciale 142, 10060 Candiolo, Turin, Italy.


Despite intensive chemotherapy and surgery treatment, lung and bone metastasis develop in about 30% of patients with osteosarcoma. Mechanisms for this preferential metastatic behavior are largely unknown. We investigated the role of the chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4)/stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) system to drive the homing of osteosarcoma cells. We analyzed the expression of the CXCR4 and SDF-1 proteins on several osteosarcoma cell lines and the effects of SDF-1 on migration, adhesion, and proliferation of these cancer cells. In vitro assays showed that the migration of osteosarcoma cells expressing CXCR4 receptor follows an SDF-1 gradient and that their adhesion to endothelial and bone marrow stromal cells is promoted by SDF-1 treatment. Moreover, the production of matrix metalloproteinase-9 is increased after SDF-1 exposure. We finally proved in a mouse model our hypothesis of the CXCR4/SDF-1 axis involvement in the metastatic process of osteosarcoma cells. Development of lung metastasis after injection of osteosarcoma cells was prevented by the administration of a CXCR4 inhibitor, the T134 peptide. These data show a possible explanation for the preferential osteosarcoma metastatic development into the lung, where SDF-1 concentration is high, and suggest that molecular strategies aimed at inhibiting the CXCR4/SDF-1 pathway, such as small-molecule inhibitors or anti-CXCR4 antibodies, might prevent the dissemination of osteosarcoma cells.

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