Stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME) can regulate the progression of numerous types of cancer; however, the bone invasion of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has been poorly investigated. In the present study, the effect of verrucous SCC-associated stromal cells (VSCC-SCs), SCC-associated stromal cells (SCC-SCs) and human dermal fibroblasts on bone resorption and the activation of HSC-3 osteoclasts in vivo were examined by hematoxylin and eosin, AE1/3 (pan-cytokeratin) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase staining. In addition, the expression levels of matrix metal- loproteinase (MMP)9, membrane-type 1 MMP (MT1-MMP), Snail, receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) and para- thyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) in the bone invasion regions of HSC-3 cells were examined by immunohistochem- istry. The results suggested that both SCC-SCs and VSCC-SCs promoted bone resorption, the activation of osteoclasts, and the expression levels of MMP9, MT1-MMP, Snail, RANKL and PTHrP. However, SCC-SCs had a more prominent effect compared with VSCC-SCs. Finally, microarray data were used to predict potential genes underlying the differential effects of VSCC-SCs and SCC-SCs on bone invasion in OSCC. The results revealed that IL1B, ICAM1, FOS, CXCL12, INS and NGF may underlie these differential effects. In conclusion, both VSCC-SCs and SCC-SCs may promote bone invasion in OSCC by enhancing the expression levels of RANKL in cancer and stromal cells mediated by PTHrP; however, SCC-SCs had a more prominent effect. These findings may represent a potential regulatory mechanism underlying the bone invasion of OSCC.
- bone invasion
- cancer-associated stromal cells
- Oral squamous cell carcinoma
- parathyroid hormone-related peptide
- receptor activator of NF-κB ligand
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research