Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Increased FNDC5/IRISIN protein expression in breast cancer tissue is associated with obesity in postmenopausal women


Aim To analyse the fibronectin type III domain containing 5 (FNDC5)/irisin expression in tumour tissue of postmenopausal women presenting breast cancer and different body mass indexes (BMIs), proposing that obesity deregulates the expression of FNDC5/irisin at the breast tumour level. In addition, we investigated if different breast cancer cell lines are capable to synthesise this protein.

Methods A total of 150 postmenopausal women (50 with a normal BMI, 50 presenting overweight and 50 having obesity) diagnosed with operable breast cancer were included. FNDC5/irisin expression was determined by immunohistochemistry or by immunocytochemistry. Qualitative analysis of protein expression was performed by the H-Score method, through ImageJ’s IHC Profiler software. Statistical analyses were carried out using STATA V.14.0 (Texas, USA); p value<0.05 was accepted as statistically significant. Statistical power of the study was >80% with a p<0.05.

Results FNDC5/irisin expression in breast cancer tissue of postmenopausal women with obesity was significantly increased when compared with FNDC5/irisin expression in women with a normal BMI (p=0.001). Furthermore, three breast cancer cell lines studied were capable to synthesise and express FNDC5/irisin, being the BT-474 cell line the one that exhibited the highest intensity of expression.

Conclusions Our results confirm that women with breast cancer and obesity exhibit an increased irisin expression in their tumorous tissue compared with women with breast cancer and normal BMI. Likewise, in vitro breast cancer cell lines have the capacity to synthesise and express FNDC5/irisin, without any extracellular stimuli, however the microenvironment surrounding these cells in vivo participates in its regulation.

  • biomarkers
  • tumor
  • breast neoplasms
  • cytokines

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.