A subset of malignant mesothelioma tumors retain osteogenic potential

S. M. Lansley, B. Pedersen, Cleo Robinson, R. G. Searles, G. Sterrett, I. Van Bruggen, R. A. Lake, S. E. Mutsaers, Cecilia Prele

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Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive serosal tumor associated with asbestos exposure. We previously demonstrated that mesothelial cells differentiate into cells of different mesenchymal lineages and hypothesize that osseous tissue observed in a subset of MM patients is due to local differentiation of MM cells. In this study, the capacity of human and mouse MM cells to differentiate into osteoblast-like cells was determined in vitro using a functional model of bone nodule formation and in vivo using an established model of MM. Human and murine MM cell lines cultured in osteogenic medium expressed alkaline phosphatase and formed mineralized bone-like nodules. Several human and mouse MM cell lines also expressed a number of osteoblast phenotype markers, including runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), osteopontin, osteonectin and bone sialoprotein mRNA and protein. Histological analysis of murine MM tumors identified areas of ossification within the tumor, similar to those observed in human MM biopsies. These data demonstrate the ability of MM to differentiate into another mesenchymal cell type and suggest that MM cells may contribute to the formation of the heterologous elements observed in MM tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36349
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2016


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