Human breast cancer cells induce angiogenesis, recruitment, and activation of osteoclasts in osteolytic metastasis

Bent Winding, Henriette Misander, Christina Sveigaard, Bente Therkildsen, Maria Jakobsen, Trine Overgaard, Merry Jo Oursler, Niels Tækker Foged

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to elucidate the potential of human breast cancer cells (BCC) to induce matrix degradation and neo-vascularization, essential for continued tumor growth, in osteolyric lesions. Methods: BCC were inoculated into the left cardiac ventricle of female athymic mice and osteolytic lesions were radiologically visualized within 4 weeks from inoculation. Results: Histomorphometric analysis of bone sections revealed a significant increase in the number and maturity of osteoclasts (OCl) lining the bone surfaces next to tumor tissue when compared to corresponding bone surfaces in healthy mice. In addition, a large number of newly formed blood vessels could be visualized by immunohistochemistry at the periphery of and within tumor tissue. When bone marrow (BM) cells were cultured in the presence of BCC the OCl formation was increased threefold. These OCl were also found to be more mature and to have greater resorptive activity. Moreover, BCC were found to stimulate proliferation, migration, and differentiation of BM-derived endothelial cells. Conclusions: Matrix destruction and neo-vascularization are accomplished by BCC arrested in the BM cavity by increasing recruitment and activity of OCl and by induction of angiogenesis within or in proximity to the tumor tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-640
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2000


  • Bone metastasis
  • MDA-231 cells
  • Neo-vascularization
  • Osteoclast recruitment
  • Osteolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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