In Vitro Evidence of Differential Immunoregulatory Response between MDA-MB-231 and BT-474 Breast Cancer Cells Induced by Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Conditioned Medium

Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2022 Dec 30;45(1):268-285. doi: 10.3390/cimb45010020.


Inside tumors, cancer cells display several mechanisms to create an immunosuppressive environment. On the other hand, by migration processes, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) can be recruited by different cancer tumor types from tissues as distant as bone marrow and contribute to tumor pathogenesis. However, the impact of the immunoregulatory role of MSCs associated with the aggressiveness of breast cancer cells by soluble molecules has not been fully elucidated. Therefore, this in vitro work aimed to study the effect of the conditioned medium of human bone marrow-derived-MSCs (hBM-MSC-cm) on the immunoregulatory capability of MDA-MB-231 and BT-474 breast cancer cells. The hBM-MSC-cm on MDA-MB-231 cells induced the overexpression of TGF-β, IDO, and IL-10 genes. Additionally, immunoregulation assays of mononuclear cells (MNCs) in co-culture with MDA-MB-231 and hBM-MSC-cm decreased lymphocyte proliferation, and increased proteins IL-10, TGF-β, and IDO while also reducing TNF levels, shooting the proportion of regulatory T cells. Conversely, the hBM-MSC-cm did not affect the immunomodulatory capacity of BT-474 cells. Thus, a differential immunoregulatory effect was observed between both representative breast cancer cell lines from different origins. Thus, understanding the immune response in a broader tumor context could help to design therapeutic strategies based on the aggressive behavior of tumor cells.

Keywords: breast cancer; conditioned medium; cytokines; immunoregulation; mesenchymal stromal cells.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.