Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 791–798 | Cite as

Cytokines in osteoblast-conditioned medium promote the migration of breast cancer cells

  • Xiaojia Chen
  • Jia Lu
  • Yuhua Ji
  • An Hong
  • Qiuling Xie
Research Article


Bone is one of the most common metastatic sites for breast cancer. In this study, we observed a promoting effect of osteoblast-conditioned medium (OCM) on the migration of MCF-7, a noninvasive cell line of breast cancer cells. Cytokine antibody array was used to compare the cytokines of OCM with the conditioned medium of non-differentiated osteoblast cells, which consequently revealed factors related to migration, such as IL8, IL6, CSF2 (G-CSF), CSF3 (GM-CSF), and TNFRSF11B (osteoprotegerin). The expression of genes related to migration was also estimated with a PCR array, which showed that 9 genes were upregulated and 26 genes downregulated. Moreover, activated p38, ERK, and AKT pathways were found in the OCM treatment group. This finding indicated the migration ability of breast cancer cells, which move toward the bone depending on the presence of specific cytokines in its surrounding microenvironment.


Cytokines Osteoblast-conditioned medium (OCM) Breast cancer Bone microenvironment 



Differentiated osteoblast-conditioned medium


Undifferentiated osteoblast-conditioned medium



The authors thank Prof. Binqian Shen for the revisions on our paper. This work was supported by the Project of Production, Education and Research of Guangdong Province (2010B090400500) and the 211 Grant of the Ministry of Education of China. The funding agencies had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaojia Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jia Lu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuhua Ji
    • 1
    • 2
  • An Hong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qiuling Xie
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Bioengineering MedicineGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.China National Engineering Research Center of Genetic MedicineGuangzhouChina

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