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Cell Commun Signal. 2012 Feb 10;10(1):3. doi: 10.1186/1478-811X-10-3.

Monocytes conditioned media stimulate fibronectin expression and spreading of inflammatory breast cancer cells in three-dimensional culture: A mechanism mediated by IL-8 signaling pathway.

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Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Giza, 12613, Egypt.



Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is the most aggressive form of breast cancer characterized by invasion of carcinoma cells into dermal lymphatic vessels where they form tumor emboli over expressing adhesion molecule E-cadherin. Although invasion and metastasis are dynamic processes controlled by complex interaction between tumor cells and microenvironment the mechanisms by which soluble mediators may regulate motility and invasion of IBC cells are poorly understood. The present study investigated the effect of media conditioned by human monocytes U937 secreted cytokines, chemokines and growth factors on the expression of adhesion molecules E-cadherin and fibronectin of human IBC cell line SUM149. Furthermore, cytokines signaling pathway involved were also identified.


U937 secreted cytokines, chemokines and growth factors were characterized by cytokine antibody array. The major U937 secreted cytokines/chemokines were interleukin-8 (IL-8) and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL2). When SUM149 cells were seeded in three dimensional (3D) models with media conditioned by U937 secreted cytokines, chemokines and growth factors; results showed: 1) changes in the morphology of IBC cells from epithelial to migratory spindle shape branched like structures; 2) Over-expression of adhesion molecule fibronectin and not E-cadherin. Further analysis revealed that over-expression of fibronectin may be mediated by IL-8 via PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.


The present results suggested that cytokines secreted by human monocytes may promote chemotactic migration and spreading of IBC cell lines. Results also indicated that IL-8 the major secreted cytokine by U937 cells may play essential role in fibronectin expression by SUM149 cells via interaction with IL-8 specific receptors and stimulation of PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.

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