Bone marrow-derived myofibroblasts (BMFs) have been shown to promote tumor growth. Here, we found that BMFs or BMF conditioned medium (BMF-CM) induced cancer stem cell-like sphere formation of colon cancer cells. The co-cultured BMFs, but not co-cultured cancer cells, expressed higher levels of IL-6 than BMFs or cancer cells cultured alone. Anti-mouse IL-6 neutralizing antibody, JAK2 inhibitors and STAT3 knockdown in mouse cancer cells reduced BMF- and BMF-CM-induced sphere formation of colon cancer cells. When co-injected, BMFs significantly enhanced tumorigenesis of colon cancer cells in mice. Our results demonstrate that BMFs promote tumorigenesis via the activation of the IL-6/JAK2/STAT3 pathway.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research
- Bone marrow-derived myofibroblasts
- Cancer stem cell
- Colon cancer