Adhesion and migration of HRT-18 colorectal carcinoma cells on extracellular matrix components typical for the desmoplastic stroma of colorectal adenocarcinomas

Oncology. 2003;65(2):174-81. doi: 10.1159/000072344.


Colorectal carcinomas belong to the group of desmoplastic carcinomas which are characterized by an extensive connective tissue stromal component containing a variety of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules. The biological importance of desmoplasia is still under discussion. Formerly, it has been regarded as walling off, thus being an obstacle for tumor cell invasion. In contrast, ECM may serve as a migratory substrate for tumor cells providing an advantage for invasion. Therefore, we have performed an in vitro investigation of the role of collagen types I, III, and V, fibronectin, and two variants of tenascin-C on adhesion and migration of the colorectal carcinoma cell line HRT-18. The data indicate that migration and adhesion strongly depend on both the composition and the concentration of ECM molecules. Even discrete changes in matrix composition can significantly modulate tumor cell migration, indicating that various degrees of invasiveness, e.g. at the tumor-host interface of colorectal carcinomas, can be attributed to environmental modifications.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / chemistry
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Stromal Cells
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins