Effects of metformin on adipose-derived stromal cell (ADSC) - Breast cancer cell lines interaction

Maryana Teufelsbauer, Barbara Rath, Adelina Plangger, Clement Staud, Josif Nanobashvili, Ihor Huk, Christoph Neumayer, Gerhard Hamilton, Christine Radtke

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Metformin is a clinical drug administered to patients to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus that was found to be associated with a lower risk of occurrence of cancer and cancer-related death. The present study investigated the effects of metformin on human adipose-derived stromal cells (ADSC) - breast cancer cell line interactions.

ADSCs grown from lipoaspirates were tested for growth-stimulating and migration-controlling activity on breast cancer cell lines after pretreatment with metformin. Furthermore, secreted proteins of ADSCs, phosphorylation of intracellular proteins and the effect of metformin on adipocytic differentiation of ADSCs were assayed.

Compared to breast cancer cell lines (4.0 ± 3.5% reduction of proliferation), 2 mM metformin significantly inhibited the proliferation of ADSC lines (19.2 ± 8.4% reduction of proliferation). This effect on ADSCs seems to be mediated by altered phosphorylation of GSK-3, CREB and PRAS40. Furthermore, treatment with metformin abolished the induction of differentiation of three ADSC lines to adipocytes. 1 and 2 mM metformin significantly impaired the migration of breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-436 in scratch assays.

Metformin showed low direct inhibitory effects on breast cancer cell lines at physiological concentrations but exerted a significant retardation of the growth and the adipocytic differentiation of ADSCs. Thus, the anticancer activity of metformin in breast cancer at physiological drug concentrations seems to be mediated by an indirect mechanism that lowers the supportive activity of ADSCs.

Read the full article here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32882267/

Jasmine Walter

Content Editor, Mark Allen Group

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