Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adipose cells and breast cancer: A dangerous combination

Date:
April 5, 2011
Source:
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange)
Summary:
Apart from its direct effect on health (such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes), obesity is increasingly suspected of playing a role in the prognosis of breast cancer and, in particular, its propensity to spread. However, no direct cause and effect relationship had been demonstrated until now. New research has made it possible to highlight, both in vitro and in vivo, the presence of adipose cells (known as adipocytes) near breast tumors.

Section of tumor (mauve) in the presence of adipocytes (white discs). The arrows indicate adipocytes modified by the tumor.
Credit: Copyright G. Escourrou

Apart from its direct effect on health (such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes), obesity is increasingly suspected of playing a role in the prognosis of breast cancer and, in particular, its propensity to spread. However, no direct cause and effect relationship had been demonstrated until now.

Related Articles


This breakthrough has finally been made through the collaborative work of two teams of researchers from Inserm, CNRS and the Université Paul Sabatier. Their research has made it possible to highlight, both in vitro and in vivo, the presence of adipose cells (known as adipocytes) near breast tumors. These adipocytes have specific biological characteristics. When associated with tumors, they are capable of modifying the characteristics of cancerous cells, making them more aggressive. The results of this work are published in Cancer Research on 1st April 2011.

Numerous statistical studies have already established a link between obesity and the "aggressiveness" of breast cancer in women, without ever succeeding to explain this phenomenon. In order to find an explanation, the researchers studied the cross-talk between adipose cells and tumor cells.

The external part of the breast essentially contains fat tissue, mainly composed of adipose cells. Apart from storing/releasing fats, these cells are capable of secreting numerous proteins. The researchers therefore attempted to find out whether these proteins play a role in the development of breast cancers.

To do so, the teams headed by Philippe Valet at the Institut des Maladies Métaboliques et Cardiovasculaires (Inserm/Université Paul Sabatier) and Catherine Muller at the Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale (CNRS/Université Paul Sabatier) used an original co-culture system between mammary tumor cells and adipocytes. In the presence of tumor cells, the adipocytes exhibit a modification in the secretion of some of their proteins, including inflammatory proteins such as interleukin-6 (IL-6). Adipose cells progressively establish a real interaction with the tumor, which leads to an increase in its "colonization potential" and thus its aggressiveness.

Indeed, when injecting mice with tumor cells co-cultivated beforehand with adipocytes, the researchers observed that the tumor was more likely to form metastases. A significant factor is that these specific modifications in adipocytes have been observed in human tumors, confirming the importance of the phenomenon. In addition, the researchers observed that the adipocytes near large human tumors, with ganglionic invasion, contained more IL-6. The protein could thus play an important role in the adipocyte-induced spread of breast cancer.

This works shows that adipocytes undoubtedly play an unexpected role in the spread of such tumors. "Our results now demonstrate how adipocytes actively participate in the progression of breast cancer, orchestrated by tumor cells. They suggest that in the case of obesity, the adipocytes associated with breast cancer could be more likely to amplify the 'aggressive' effect of tumors," the researchers say. "This hypothesis still needs to be verified both in mice and humans."

The study targets the development of specific strategies for overweight patients suffering from the most aggressive cancers. For example, identifying the signals supplied by the adipocytes to stimulate the invasive properties of tumor cells could represent a new lead for treating these patients.

This work is financially supported by the French National Cancer Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Dirat, L. Bochet, M. Dabek, D. Daviaud, S. Dauvillier, B. Majed, Y. Y. Wang, A. Meulle, B. Salles, S. Le Gonidec, I. Garrido, G. Escourrou, P. Valet, C. Muller. Cancer-Associated Adipocytes Exhibit an Activated Phenotype and Contribute to Breast Cancer Invasion. Cancer Research, 2011; 71 (7): 2455 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-3323

Cite This Page:

CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Adipose cells and breast cancer: A dangerous combination." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110405102034.htm>.
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). (2011, April 5). Adipose cells and breast cancer: A dangerous combination. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110405102034.htm
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Adipose cells and breast cancer: A dangerous combination." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110405102034.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

AFP (Nov. 20, 2014) — UN Resident Coordinator David McLachlan-Karr and WHO representative in the country Daniel Kertesz updated the media on the UN Ebola response on Wednesday. Duration: 00:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 20, 2014) — U.S. Congress hears from a victim and company officials as it holds a hearing on the safety of Takata airbags after reports of injuries. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) — The newest estimate of the cost of obesity is pretty jarring — $2 trillion. But how did researchers get to that number? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) — The Sanborn family had hoped they'd be able to bring home their 5-year-old adopted son from Liberia by now. But Ebola has forced them to wait. The boy is just one of thousands of orphans in West Africa who've been impacted by the deadly virus. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins