Myeloma Cells Down-Regulate Adiponectin in Bone Marrow Adipocytes Via TNF-Alpha

Emma V. Morris, Karla J. Suchacki, Joseph Hocking, Rachel Cartwright, Aneka Sowman, Beatriz Gamez, Ryan Lea, Matthew T. Drake, William P. Cawthorn, Claire M. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Multiple myeloma is caused by abnormal plasma cells that accumulate in the bone marrow and interact with resident cells of the bone microenvironment to drive disease progression and development of an osteolytic bone disease. Bone marrow adipocytes (BMAds) are emerging as having important endocrine functions that can support myeloma cell growth and survival. However, how BMAds respond to infiltrating tumor cells remains poorly understood. Using the C57BL/KaLwRij murine model of myeloma, bone marrow adiposity was found to be increased in early stage myeloma with BMAds localizing along the tumor-bone interface at later stages of disease. Myeloma cells were found to uptake BMAd-derived lipids in vitro and in vivo, although lipid uptake was not associated with the ability of BMAds to promote myeloma cell growth and survival. However, BMAd-derived factors were found to increase myeloma cell migration, viability, and the evasion of apoptosis. BMAds are a major source of adiponectin, which is known to be myeloma-suppressive. Myeloma cells were found to downregulate adiponectin specifically in a model of BMAds but not in white adipocytes. The ability of myeloma cells to downregulate adiponectin was dependent at least in part on TNF-α. Collectively our data support the link between increased bone marrow adiposity and myeloma progression. By demonstrating how TNF-α downregulates BMAd-derived adiponectin, we reveal a new mechanism by which myeloma cells alter the bone microenvironment to support disease progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)942-955
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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