Effect of Human Fat Graft on Breast Cancer Metastasis in a Murine Model

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Isolated adipose stem cells have been reported to encourage migration and early metastasis of breast cancer. Mimicking a surgical situation, the authors developed a human breast cancer model to evaluate in vivo whether human adipose tissue promotes tumor growth and invasion.


Human adipose tissue was obtained from four patients. The MDA-MB-468 cell line was cultured with a lentiviral vector encoding a puromycin resistance gene and mCherry fluorescent protein. Virus-infected cells were selected. Animals were injected in the left renal capsule and divided into three experimental groups: group A, MDA-MB-468 cells (n = 4); group B, MDA-MB-468 cells/human adipose tissue (n = 4); and group C, Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium/F-12 medium (negative control, n = 4). Metastatic development was monitored using an in vivo imaging system. Small breast epithelial mucin (SBEM), human hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRTh), and murine hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRTm) expression were analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction to detect multifocal metastases in right/left renal capsule, liver, spleen, and pancreas.


Metastasis was observed between postinjection days 37 and 44. No significant differences were found in survival rates between groups (group A, 157 ± 42.60 days; group B, 169 ± 40.17 days). All samples expressed HPRTm. HPRTh and SBEM were expressed in left renal capsules from all group A and B mice, whereas in spleen, liver, pancreas, and right renal capsule the HPRTm and SBEM expression was not constant in all samples of group A and B mice. Differences were found between groups in HPRTh and SBEM expression but were not statistically significant.


Human adipose tissue used to restore breast defects after oncologic resection did not increase metastasis development risk when there were residual breast cancer cells in proximity.

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