Open Access Research article

Effect of troglitazone on tumor growth and pulmonary metastasis development of the mouse osteosarcoma cell line LM8

Junichi Aizawa12, Kenshi Sakayama1, Setsuya Kamei12, Teruki Kidani1, Haruyasu Yamamoto1, Yoshiaki Norimatsu2 and Hiroshi Masuno2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Bone and Joint Surgery, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Toon, Ehime 791-0295, Japan

2 Department of Medical Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ehime Prefectural University of Health Sciences, Takooda, Tobe-cho, Iyo-gun, Ehime 791-2101, Japan

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:51  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-51

Published: 22 February 2010



Osteosarcoma often develops micrometastases in the lung prior to diagnosis, causing a fatal outcome. Therefore, the prevention of pulmonary metastases is critical for the improvement of the prognosis of patients with osteosarcoma. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether troglitazone (TGZ) is considered as possible therapeutics in the treatment of growth and metastasis of osteosarcoma.


LM8 cells were treated for 3 days with various concentrations of TGZ. The effect of TGZ on cell proliferation was determined by DNA measurement in the cultures and 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation study. The assay of cell invasion and motility was performed using either the Matrigel-coated cell culture inserts or the uncoated cell culture inserts in the invasion chambers. The effect of TGZ on Akt signaling was assessed by Western blot analysis of Akt and p-Akt. The effects of oral administration of either TGZ (TGZ group) or ethanol (control group) on the growth of primary tumor and the development of pulmonary metastasis were examined in nude mice implanted with LM8 cells on their backs. The expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) within the tumor were determined by immunohistochemistry and zymography. The microvessel density (MVD) within the tumor was determined by immunohistochemistry for CD34.


TGZ dose-dependently inhibits cell proliferation. TGZ-treated cells were less invasive and less motile than untreated cells. The activity of MMP-2 secreted by TGZ-treated cells was lower than that secreted by untreated cells. TGZ decreased the level of p-Akt. The primary tumor mass was smaller in the TGZ group than in the control group. The TGZ group had less metastatic tumors in the lung compared with the control group. The expression and activity of MMP-2 within the tumor of the TGZ group were lower than those of the control group. The MVD within the tumor of the TGZ group was lower than that of the control group.


Inhibition of Akt signaling by TGZ may decrease the secretion of MMP-2, resulting in the decrease of invasiveness and motility in LM8 cells. Treatment of tumor-bearing mice with TGZ decreases the expression and activity of MMP-2 within the tumor, and inhibits primary tumor growth and pulmonary metastasis development. TGZ may offer a new approach in chemotherapy for osteosarcoma.