Aspirin breaks the crosstalk between 3T3-L1 adipocytes and 4T1 breast cancer cells by regulating cytokine production

Chia Chien Hsieh, Yu Shan Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide. The obesity process is normally accompanied by chronic, low-grade inflammation. Infiltration by inflammatory cytokines and immune cells provides a favorable microenvironment for tumor growth, migration, and metastasis. Epidemiological evidence has shown that aspirin is an effective agent against several types of cancer. The aim of this study is to investigate the anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects of aspirin on 3T3-L1 adipocytes, 4T1 murine breast cancer cells, and their crosstalk. The results showed that aspirin treatment inhibited differentiation and lipid accumulation by 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, and decreased the secretion of the inflammatory adipokine MCP-1 after stimulation with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-? or conditioned medium from RAW264.7 cells. In 4T1 cells, treatment with aspirin decreased cell viability and migration, possibly by suppressing MCP-1 and VEGF secretion. Subsequently, culture of 4T1 cells in 3T3-L1 adipocyte-conditioned medium (Ad-CM) and co-culture of 3T3-L1 and 4T1 cells using a transwell plate were performed to clarify the relationship between these two cell lines. Aspirin exerted its inhibitory effects in the transwell co-culture system, as well as the conditioned-medium model. Aspirin treatment significantly inhibited the proliferation of 4T1 cells, and decreased the production of MCP-1 and PAI-1 in both the Ad-CM model and co-culture system. Aspirin inhibited inflammatory MCP-1 adipokine production by 3T3-L1 adipocytes and the cell growth and migration of 4T1 cells. It also broke the crosstalk between these two cell lines, possibly contributing to its chemopreventive properties in breast cancer. This is the first report that aspirin's chemopreventive activity supports the potential application in auxiliary therapy against obesity-related breast cancer development.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0147161
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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