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The anti-neoplastic effects of metformin modulate the acquired phenotype of fibroblast cells in the breast cancer-normal fibroblast co-culture system

SAMANEH MOSTAFAVI, ZUHAIR MOHAMMAD HASSAN*

Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

* Corresponding Author: ZUHAIR MOHAMMAD HASSAN. Email: email

Oncology Research 2024, 32(3), 477-487. https://doi.org/10.32604/or.2023.043926

Abstract

Intracellular communications between breast cancer and fibroblast cells were reported to be involved in cancer proliferation, growth, and therapy resistance. The hallmarks of cancer-fibroblast interactions, consisting of caveolin 1 (Cav1) and mono-carboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4) (metabolic coupling markers), along with IL-6, TGFβ, and lactate secretion, are considered robust biomarkers predicting recurrence and metastasis. In order to promote a novel phenotype in normal fibroblasts, we predicted that breast cancer cells could be able to cause loss of Cav1 and increase of MCT4, as well as elevate IL-6 and TGFβ in nearby normal fibroblasts. We created a co-culture model using breast cancer (4T1) and normal fibroblast (NIH3T3) cell lines cultured under specific experimental conditions in order to directly test our theory. Moreover, we show that long-term co-culture of breast cancer cells and normal fibroblasts promotes loss of Cav1 and gain of MCT4 in adjacent fibroblasts and increase lactate secretion. These results were validated using the monoculture of each group separately as a control. In this system, we show that metformin inhibits IL-6 and TGFβ secretion and re-expresses Cav1 in both cells. However, MCT4 and lactate stayed high after treatment with metformin. In conclusion, our work shows that co-culture with breast cancer cells may cause significant alterations in the phenotype and secretion of normal fibroblasts. Metformin, however, may change this state and affect fibroblasts’ acquired phenotypes. Moreover, mitochondrial inhibition by metformin after 8 days of treatment, significantly hinders tumor growth in mouse model of breast cancer.

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Cite This Article

MOSTAFAVI, S., HASSAN, Z. M. (2024). The anti-neoplastic effects of metformin modulate the acquired phenotype of fibroblast cells in the breast cancer-normal fibroblast co-culture system. Oncology Research, 32(3), 477–487.



cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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