Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breast cancer: Stress receptor found to stimulate growth and migration of cancer cells

Date:
September 21, 2011
Source:
University of Western Ontario
Summary:
It's a common belief that there's a link between chronic stress and an increased risk of cancer. In new research, scientists identified a particular neurotransmitter released in response to stress, that stimulates both cancer cell growth and migration in breast cancer. The research was led by Dwayne Jackson of the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering.

It's a common belief that there's a link between chronic stress and an increased risk of cancer. In new research published online by the International Journal of Cancer, scientists at The University of Western Ontario have taken a step toward confirming that belief.

Research led by Dwayne Jackson of the Departments of Medical biophysics and Biomedical Engineering has identified a particular neurotransmitter released in response to stress, that stimulates both cancer cell growth and migration in breast cancer.

Working with Ph.D candidate Philip Medeiros, Jackson looked at a branch of the nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system, and how it "talks" to cells in various organs throughout the body. When the sympathetic nervous system is activated, like it is during stress, it communicates with receptors on cells through the release of neurotransmitters called norepinephrine and neuropeptide Y or NPY. This is a normal response that prepares the body for "fight or flight."

"We have all heard anecdotally that stress causes cancer. Our lab is particularly interested in how chronic stress may cause increases in the release of NPY and whether that may contribute to the progression of breast cancer," explains Jackson, an Assistant Professor at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. "It has been shown that women with a familial history of breast cancer exhibit greater physiological stress responses to normal everyday stressors. Since there is a very dense supply of sympathetic nerves in the female breast, it would be reasonable to suspect that NPY may be released in greater amounts in the breasts of those at risk for breast cancer. Thus, we postulated if cancer cells are present and they respond to NPY, then this neuropeptide and its receptors would form a functional link between stress and breast cancer progression."

"Once we had established that breast cancer cells express the receptors for NPY, then we went through a set of experiments that looked at the functional consequences of activating them. We found NPY greatly accelerates cell growth as well as cell migration and these are two important steps in primary tumour growth, as well as in metastasis," concludes Medeiros.

The research was supported with funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance. Medeiros holds a Doctoral Fellowship from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and has been supported by the Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit of the London Regional Cancer Program at London Health Sciences Centre.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Western Ontario. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Philip J. Medeiros, Baraa K. Al-Khazraji, Nicole M. Novielli, Lynne M. Postovit, Ann F. Chambers, Dwayne N. Jackson. Neuropeptide Y stimulates proliferation and migration in the 4T1 breast cancer cell line. International Journal of Cancer, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/ijc.26350

Cite This Page:

University of Western Ontario. "Breast cancer: Stress receptor found to stimulate growth and migration of cancer cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920111818.htm>.
University of Western Ontario. (2011, September 21). Breast cancer: Stress receptor found to stimulate growth and migration of cancer cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920111818.htm
University of Western Ontario. "Breast cancer: Stress receptor found to stimulate growth and migration of cancer cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920111818.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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