Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2010 Mar 23;5(3):e9832. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009832.

Transient tumor-fibroblast interactions increase tumor cell malignancy by a TGF-Beta mediated mechanism in a mouse xenograft model of breast cancer.

Author information

  • 1Cell and Cancer Biology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.


Carcinoma are complex societies of mutually interacting cells in which there is a progressive failure of normal homeostatic mechanisms, causing the parenchymal component to expand inappropriately and ultimately to disseminate to distant sites. When a cancer cell metastasizes, it first will be exposed to cancer associated fibroblasts in the immediate tumor microenvironment and then to normal fibroblasts as it traverses the underlying connective tissue towards the bloodstream. The interaction of tumor cells with stromal fibroblasts influences tumor biology by mechanisms that are not yet fully understood. Here, we report a role for normal stroma fibroblasts in the progression of invasive tumors to metastatic tumors. Using a coculture system of human metastatic breast cancer cells (MCF10CA1a) and normal murine dermal fibroblasts, we found that medium conditioned by cocultures of the two cell types (CoCM) increased migration and scattering of MCF10CA1a cells in vitro, whereas medium conditioned by homotypic cultures had little effect. Transient treatment of MCF10CA1a cells with CoCM in vitro accelerated tumor growth at orthotopic sites in vivo, and resulted in an expanded pattern of metastatic engraftment. The effects of CoCM on MCF10CA1a cells were dependent on small amounts of active TGF-beta1 secreted by fibroblasts under the influence of the tumor cells, and required intact ALK5-, p38-, and JNK signaling in the tumor cells. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that transient interactions between tumor cells and normal fibroblasts can modify the acellular component of the local microenvironment such that it induces long-lasting increases in tumorigenicity and alters the metastatic pattern of the cancer cells in vivo. TGF-beta appears to be a key player in this process, providing further rationale for the development of anti-cancer therapeutics that target the TGF-beta pathway.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk