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Exp Cell Res. 2012 Jun 10;318(10):1094-103. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2012.03.009. Epub 2012 Mar 23.

Tumor tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) in hormone-independent breast cancer might originate in stromal cells, and improves stratification of prognosis together with nodal status.

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  • 1Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland.


Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) is shown to be a potential marker for poor prognosis in breast cancer, but the biology of TIMP-1 is only partially understood. In this study, TIMP-1 production was studied in a co-culture model of hormone-independent breast cancer cell lines and mesenchymal stem cells mimicking the stromal components of the tumor. In addition, the prognostic value of TIMP-1 was histologically evaluated in a clinical material of 168 patients with hormone-independent breast tumors. The hormone-independent breast cancer (BC) cell lines MDA-MB-231, M4A4 and NM2C5 did not produce TIMP-1 protein in measureable quantities. Six tested primary mesenchymal stem cell lines all produced TIMP-1. Co-culturing of mesenchymal stem cells and breast cancer cells resulted in positive immunocytochemical diffuse staining for TIMP-1 for both cell types. Culturing breast cancer cells with MSC-conditioned media resulted in a positive cytoplasmic immunoreactivity for TIMP-1, and TIMP-1 protein concentration in cell lysates increased 2.7-fold (range 1.1-4.7). The TIMP-1 mRNA levels remained unaffected in BC cells. This might suggest that breast cancer cells can take up TIMP-1 produced by stromal cells and are thus displaying cellular immunoreactivity. In addition, TIMP-1 was shown to improve stratification of prognosis in clinical material.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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