Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have recently been implicated as one source of the tumor-associated stroma, which plays essential role in regulating tumor progression. In spite of the intensive research, the individual factors in MSCs controlling tumor progression have not been adequately defined. In the present study we have examined the role of galectin-1 (Gal-1), a protein highly expressed in tumors with poor prognosis, in MSCs in the course of tumor development. Co-transplantation of wild type MSCs with 4T1 mouse breast carcinoma cells enhances the incidence of palpable tumors, growth, vascularization and metastasis. It also reduces survival compared to animals treated with tumor cells alone or in combination with Gal-1 knockout MSCs. In vitro studies show that the absence of Gal-1 in MSCs does not affect the number of migrating MSCs toward the tumor cells, which is supported by the in vivo migration of intravenously injected MSCs into the tumor. Moreover, differentiation of endothelial cells into blood vessel-like structures strongly depends on the expression of Gal-1 in MSCs. Vital role of Gal-1 in MSCs has been further verified in Gal-1 knockout mice. By administering B16F10 melanoma cells into Gal-1 deficient animals, tumor growth is highly reduced compared to wild type animals. Nevertheless, co-injection of wild type but not Gal-1 deficient MSCs results in dramatic tumor growth and development. These results confirm that galectin-1 is one of the critical factors in MSCs regulating tumor progression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)