Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) develops within the squamous epithelial layer and invades the submucosa to the subadventitia that has adipose tissue (AT). AT seems critical to ESCC progression, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. We aimed to address the association between ESCC and AT in vitro. ESCC cells were cultured on rat or human subcutaneous AT-embedded or -non-embedded collagen gel. AT promoted the growth of ESCC cells and inhibited their apoptosis. AT promoted the expression of the squamous differentiation marker involucrin in ESCC cells. AT accelerated the expression of invasion-related factors in poorly differentiated ESCC cells only. AT promoted the expression of phosphorylated-insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor in ESCC cells, whereas it inhibited that of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. Insulin-like growth factor-1, but not leptin, adiponectin, or resistin, promoted and inhibited the growth and apoptosis of ESCC cells, respectively. In turn, ESCC cells decreased the production of these adipokines in AT and the number of preadipocytes and mesenchymal stem cell-like cells, which developed from AT. These results suggest that i) AT may influence the progression of ESCC with increased growth or invasion and decreased apoptosis through insulin-like growth factor-1/insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor signaling, ii) AT may affect human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-targeted therapy; and iii) the cancer cells may affect adipokine production in AT.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine