Interleukin-6 suppression reduces tumour self-seeding by circulating tumour cells in a human osteosarcoma nude mouse model

Tumour self-seeding by circulating tumour cells (CTCs) enhances tumour progression and recurrence. Previously, we demonstrated that tumour self-seeding by CTCs occurs in osteosarcoma and revealed that interleukin-6 (IL-6) may promote CTC attraction. Here, we investigated the underlying mechanisms of IL-6 in tumour self-seeding by CTCs. IL-6 suppression inhibited in vitro cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. In addition, rhIL-6 activated the Janus-activated kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (JAK/STAT3) and mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular-signal regulated kinase1/2 (MAPK/ERK1/2) pathways in vitro. Both pathways increased cell proliferation, but only the JAK/STAT3 pathway promoted migration. Suppressing IL-6 inhibited in vivo tumour growth and metastasis. IL-6 suppression or JAK/STAT3 pathway inhibition reduced CTC seeding in primary tumours. Collectively, IL-6 promotes tumour self-seeding by CTCs in a nude mouse model. This finding may provide a novel strategy for future therapeutic interventions to prevent osteosarcoma progression and recurrence.

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