Scope: Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) have been shown to promote metastasis and malignancy. Pterostilbene, a natural stilbene isolated from blueberries, has been suggested for anti-cancer effects. Here, we explored the potential cancer stem cells (CSCs)/TAM modulating effects of pterostilbene in breast cancer. Methods and results: Using flowcytometric and Boyden chamber assay, we showed MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 cells cocultured with M2 TAMs exhibited increased percentage of CD44+/CD24- CSC population and migratory/invasive abilities. RT-PCR results showed that CD44+/CD24- cells expressed an increased level of HIF-1α, β-catenin, Twist1, and NF-κB and enhanced tumor sphere forming ability. Additionally, pterostilbene treatment dose dependently overcame M2 TAM-induced enrichment of CSCs and metastatic potential of breast cancer cells. Mechanistically, pterostilbene suppressed NFκB, Twist1, vimentin, and increased E-cadherin expression. Using siRNA technique, we demonstrated that pterostilbene-mediated NFκB downregulation was correlated to an increased amount of microRNA 448. Finally, pterostilbene-mediated suppression in tumorigenesis and metastasis was validated by noninvasive bioluminescence in mice bearing M2 TAM cocultured MDA-MB-231 tumor.
- Breast cancer stem cells
- Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition
- Tumor-associated macrophages