Regulation of HGF and SDF-1 expression by oral fibroblasts--implications for invasion of oral cancer

Oral Oncol. 2008 Jul;44(7):646-51. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2007.08.012. Epub 2007 Nov 9.


Invasion and metastasis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is dependent on signals received from stromal fibroblasts present in the surrounding connective tissue. The aim of this study was to investigate the regulation of expression of two important signaling molecules--HGF and SDF-1--by both stromal fibroblasts and their 'activated' form, myofibroblasts, and to determine the role of these two factors in stimulating OSCC cell invasion in vitro. Fibroblasts and myofibroblasts produced similar levels of HGF and SDF-1. IL-1alpha and OSCC cell conditioned medium both stimulated HGF and SDF-1 expression, while TGF-beta(1) inhibited production of each factor. Myofibroblast-derived conditioned medium stimulated OSCC cell invasion through matrigel. Blocking antibodies to both HGF and SDF-1 reduced the level of invasion. In fibroblast-free organotypic raft cultures, addition of HGF and SDF-1 stimulated OSCC cell invasion into the underlying collagen gel, although the pattern of invasion differed from that induced by fibroblasts. Fibroblast-derived HGF and SDF-1 appear to play central roles in the reciprocal interactions between OSCC cells and underlying stromal fibroblasts leading to the local invasion of oral cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Chemokine CXCL12 / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1alpha / metabolism
  • Mouth Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Stromal Cells / pathology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / metabolism*


  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Interleukin-1alpha
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • leucocorticotropin
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor