Constitutive Production of Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein (PTHrP) by Fibroblasts Derived from Normal and Pathological Human Breast Tissue

Magali Cros, Christophe Cataisson, Yong Mee Cho, Yolande Berthois, Oana Bernard-Poenaru, Maryannick Denne, Anne Marie Graulet, Marie Christine De Vernejoul, John Foley, Zhor Bouizar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is expressed in the mammary gland and appears to be critical to the morphogenesis of this structure. PTHrP production in the breast is generally attributed to epithelial cells. Because the stromal component of the breast produces factors implicated in proliferation and differentiation of mammary epithelial tissue and tumors, the aim of this study was to investigate the PTHrP expression by mammary fibroblasts from breast cancer tumors and normal breast. PTHrP antibodies labeled intralobular fibroblasts in normal breast and stromal fibroblasts that surround tumor cells. PTHrP was constitutively produced by the cultured mammary fibroblasts, independent of serum stimulation. Normal (15.83 ± 1.72 fmol/106 cells) and pathological breast fibroblasts (19.87 ± 5.76) secreted similar amounts of PTHrP. PTH/PTHrP receptor mRNA was detected by RT-PCR in all the samples tested. Fibroblasts from normal breast were both PTH and PTHrP-cAMP responsive (453 ± 133% and 513 ± 133%, respectively, from basal stimulation), whereas pathological breast fibroblasts were minimally PTHrP-cAMP responsive (183 ± 36%). The production of other fibroblastic factors implicated in tumor growth and invasiveness was also examined. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and pro-matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 were not affected by the status of the tissue. In contrast, increased levels of pro-MMP-2 were produced in fibroblasts that originated from pathological (290 ± 62 ng/106 cells) samples compared with those from normal donors (125 ± 41 ng/10 6 cells). PTHrP production was correlated with TNF-α and pro-MMP-2 production. However, inhibition with specific neutralizing antibodies against TNF-α or PTHrP, or with a PTHrP antagonist, showed that these factors did not regulate each other. In conclusion, breast fibroblasts are constitutive PTHrP-producing cells with the potential for autocrine signaling through the PTH/PTHrP receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-146
Number of pages10
JournalOncology Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002



  • Breast cancer
  • Cytokines
  • Fibroblasts
  • Metalloproteinases
  • Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Cros, M., Cataisson, C., Cho, Y. M., Berthois, Y., Bernard-Poenaru, O., Denne, M., Graulet, A. M., De Vernejoul, M. C., Foley, J., & Bouizar, Z. (2002). Constitutive Production of Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein (PTHrP) by Fibroblasts Derived from Normal and Pathological Human Breast Tissue. Oncology Research, 13(3), 137-146.