Abstract

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of tumorigenesis, and increased leptin levels can promote tumor metastasis. However, the effects of leptin on bone metastasis in breast cancer are not fully understood. Here, we examined leptin receptor expression and bone metastasis in tissue samples from 96 breast cancer patients. In addition, we investigated the effects of leptin on the metastatic capacity of breast cancer cells in vitro using a transwell assays. The results indicated that higher leptin receptor levels in breast cancer cells are associated with increased incidence of bone metastasis in breast cancer patients. Additionally, leptin promoted migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. The SDF-1/CXCR4 axis activated by leptin also promoted bone metastasis of breast cancer. Finally, increased CXCR4 expression was accompanied by high leptin receptor expression in bone metastatic tissues from breast cancer patients. These results indicate that leptin induces bone metastasis of breast cancer by activating the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis.