Anti-inflammatory agent indomethacin reduces invasion and alters metabolism in a human breast cancer cell line

Ellen Ackerstaff, Barjor Gimi, Dmitri Artemov, Zaver M. Bhujwalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Hostile physiological environments such as hypoxia and acidic extracellular pH, which exist in solid tumors, may promote invasion and metastasis through inflammatory responses and formation of eicosanoids. Here, we have investigated the effects of the anti-inflammatory agent indomethacin on the invasion and metabolism of the human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-435 in Dulbecco's Modified Eagles (DME)-based or Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI)-based cell medium, using a magnetic resonance-compatible invasion assay. Indomethacin treatment significantly reduced the invasion of MDA-MB-435 cells independent of the culture and perfusion conditions examined. Significant changes were detected in levels of intracellular choline phospholipid metabolites and in triglyceride (TG) concentrations of these cells, depending on indomethacin treatment and basal cell medium used. Additionally, genetic profiling of breast cancer cells, grown and treated with low-dose indomethacin in cell culture using an RPMI-based medium, revealed the upregulation of several genes implicating cyclooxygenase-independent targets of indomethacin. These data confirm the ability of an anti-inflammatory agent to reduce breast cancer invasion and demonstrate, depending on cell culture and perfusion conditions, that the indomethacin-induced decrease in invasion is associated with changes in choline phospholipid metabolism, TG metabolism, and gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-235
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Breast cancer
  • Indomethacin
  • Invasion
  • Magnetic resonance (MR)
  • Phospholipid metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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