Background: Comparison of tissue microarray results of 29 cervical cancer and 27 normal cervix tissue samples using immunohistochemistry revealed considerable reorganization of the fibrillar stroma of these tumors. Methods: In vitro models were used to throw light on the multifactorial process of tumor-stroma interaction, by means of studying the cooperation between tumor cells and fibroblasts. Fibroblasts from normal cervix and cervical cancers were grown either separately or in co-culture with CSCC7 cervical cancer cell line. Changes manifest in secreted glycoproteins, integrins and matrix metallo-proteases (MMPs) were explored. Results: While normal fibroblasts produced components of interstitial matrix and TGF-β1 that promoted cell proliferation, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) synthesized ample amounts of laminin-1. The following results support the significance of laminin-1 in the invasion of CSCC7 cells: 1.) Tumor-associated fibroblasts produced more laminin-1 and less components of fibrillar ECM than normal cells; 2.) The production of laminin chains was further increased when CSCC7 cells were grown in co-culture with fibroblasts; 3.) CSCC7 cells were capable of increasing their laminin production; 4.) Tumor cells predominantly expressed integrin α6β4 laminin receptors and migrated towards laminin. The integrin profile of both normal and tumor-associated fibroblasts was similar, expressing receptors for fibronectin, vitronectin and osteopontin. MMP-7 secreted by CSCC7 cells was upregulated by the presence of normal fibroblasts, whereas MMP-2 produced mainly by fibroblasts was activated in the presence of CSCC7 cells. Conclusions: Our results indicate that in addition to degradation of the basement membrane, invasion of cervical cancer is accomplished by the remodeling of the interstitial stroma, which process includes decrease and partial replacement of fibronectin and collagens by a laminin-rich matrix.
- Cancer associated fibroblasts
- Cervical cancer
- Extracellular matrix remodeling
- Stromal fibroblasts
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research