The effects of activin A on the migration of human breast cancer cells and neutrophils and their migratory interaction
Activin A belongs to the superfamily of transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) and is a critical regulatory cytokine in breast cancer and inflammation. However, the role of activin A in migration of breast cancer cells and immune cells was not well characterized. Here, a microfluidic device was used to examine the effect of activin A on the migration of human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 cells and human blood neutrophils as well as their migratory interaction. We found that activin A promoted the basal migration but impaired epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced migration of breast cancer cells. By contrast, activin A reduced neutrophil chemotaxis and transendothelial migration to N-Formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (fMLP). Finally, activin A promoted neutrophil chemotaxis to the supernatant from breast cancer cell culture. Collectively, our study revealed the different roles of activin A in regulating the migration of breast cancer cells and neutrophils and their migratory interaction. These findings suggested the potential of activin A as a therapeutic target for inflammation and breast cancers.