In human multiple myeloma (MM), the tumor cells exhibit strict dependence on bone marrow (BM) stromal elements. It has been suggested that, in turn, MM cells modify multipotent stromal cells (MSCs), diverting them to support the myeloma. We investigated MM-derived MSCs by comparing their toll-like receptor (TLR) responses to those of MSCs derived from healthy controls. We now report that MM-derived MSCs manifested intact proliferation responses and IL-6 secretion and their adipose and osteogenic differentiation responses to TLR ligands were also similar to those of healthy controls, ranging from augmentation to inhibition. However, MM-derived MSCs were found to be defective in IL-8 secretion and ERK1/2 phosphorylation following TLR-2 activation. Moreover, MM-derived MSCs failed to respond to EGF by elevation of ERK1/2 phosphorylation. The persistence of these changes in extensively cultured MM-derived MSCs, suggests that these cells are stably, if not irreversibly modified.
- ERK phosphorylation
- Epidermal growth factor, EGF
- Multiple myeloma
- Multipotent stromal cells, MSCs
- Toll-like receptors, TLR