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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1993 Mar;44(4-6):589-96.

Control of aromatase activity in breast cancer cells: the role of cytokines and growth factors.

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Unit of Metabolic Medicine, St Mary's Hospital Medical School, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, England.


The aromatase complex has a key role in regulating oestrogen formation in normal and malignant breast tissues. Using dexamethasone-treated fibroblasts, derived from breast tumours, breast tumour cytosol and breast tumour-derived conditioned medium (CM) markedly stimulate aromatase activity. The cytokine, interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been identified as a factor present in CM which is capable of stimulating aromatase activity. To examine whether IL-6 may have a role in vivo in regulating breast tissue aromatase activity, IL-6 production and aromatase activity in breast tumour and adipose tissue from breast quadrants were examined. In 5/6 breasts examined so far, aromatase activity was highest in adipose tissue in the breast quadrant containing the tumour or on which the tumour impinged. There was a significant correlation (P < 0.05, Kendall's rank correlation) between IL-6 production and aromatase activity in these breast tissues. It is concluded that IL-6 may have an important role in regulating aromatase activity in breast tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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