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Differentiation. 1992 Dec;52(1):101-10.

Modulation of the invasive phenotype of human colon carcinoma cells by organ specific fibroblasts of nude mice.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030.


We examined whether fibroblasts from subcutaneous, colon or lung tissues of nude mice influence the invasive potential of highly metastatic human colon carcinoma KM12SM cells. Primary cultures of nude mouse fibroblasts from skin, lung and colon were established. Invasive and metastatic KM12SM cells were cultured alone or with fibroblasts. Growth and invasive properties of the KM12SM cells were evaluated as well as their production of gelatinase activity. KM12SM cells were able to grow on monolayers of all three fibroblast cultures but did not invade through skin fibroblasts. The conditioned media of KM12SM cells cocultured with skin, colon or lung fibroblasts were examined for the presence of type IV collagenase (gelatinase). KM12SM growing on plastic and on colon or lung fibroblasts produced significant levels of latent and active forms of 64 kDa type IV collagenase, whereas KM12SM cells cocultivated with nude mouse skin fibroblasts did not. In contrast, human squamous cell carcinoma A431 cells produced significant levels of collagenase type IV when cocultured with nude mouse skin fibroblasts, a tissue they invaded and completely penetrated. Incubation of KM12SM cells in serum-free medium containing recombinant human interferon-beta (fibroblast interferon) was associated with significant reduction in gelatinase activity. Since the production of type IV collagenase by human colon cancer cells is specifically inhibited by mouse skin fibroblasts but not by colon or lung fibroblasts the data suggest that organ-specific fibroblasts can influence the invasive and metastatic properties of KM12SM cells.

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