Nemosis (from Nemesis, goddess in Greek mythology who brought justified revenge or compensation) is a newly discovered type of fibroblast activation which is thought to operate in inflammation and cancer. Experimentally, nemosis is induced when normal fibroblasts are not allowed to adhere and spread on a solid substratum but are instead forming spheroids and making cell–cell contacts. This may be achieved by placing fibroblasts, e.g., on top of agarose-coated culture wells, or growing them in hanging drops.
Nemosis is characterized by a massive induction of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2-producing prostanoids), growth factors and especially hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF), proteolytic enzymes (plasminogen activation, matrix metalloproteinasesMMP-1, MMP-10, and MT1-MMP), and proinflammatory chemokines (e.g., MIP-1α, RANTES, and IL-8) promoting leukocyte migration. In cell culture conditions, the fibroblast spheroids terminate in programmed necrosis...