Human Wharton's jelly stem cells (hWJSCs) were shown to inhibit the growth of human mammary carcinomas. It is not known whether cell-free secretions or lysates of hWJSCs do the same on different cancers. They may be less controversial than cells to regulatory bodies for clinical application. We examined the influence of hWJSC conditioned medium (hWJSC-CM) and cell-free lysate (hWJSC-CL) on two osteosarcoma cell lines (MG-63, SKES-1) in vitro and on human mammary carcinomas in immunodeficient mice. When exposed to hWJSC-CL, increased vacuolations in MG-63 and increased membrane fragmentation in SKES-1 cells were observed, with greater cell death in SKES-1. Exposure of SKES-1 and MG-63 cells to hWJSC-CL showed significant decreases in cell proliferation of 46.48 ± 6.66% and 24.32 ± 5.67% respectively compared to controls. MG-63 and SKES-1 cells were annexin V-FITC positive and SKES-1 TUNEL positive following treatment with hWJSC-CM and hWJSC-CL. MG-63 cells were positive and SKES-1 cells negative for anti-BECLIN-1 and anti-LC3B following treatment with hWJSC-CM and hWJSC-CL. RT-PCR showed that the pro-apoptotic BAX gene and the autophagy-related ATG-5 and BECLIN-1 genes were up-regulated while the anti-apoptotic BCL2 and SURVIVIN genes were down-regulated in MG-63 and SKES-1 cells treated with hWJSC-CM and hWJSC-CL. Injections of hWJSCs and hWJSC-CM into mammary carcinomas in immunodeficient mice resulted in decreased tumor sizes and weights of 24.86 ± 6.05% to 37.03 ± 5.91% and 47.14 ± 7.36% to 55.09 ± 5.87% respectively at 6 weeks compared to controls. hWJSC-CM and hWJSC-CL inhibit mammary carcinoma and osteosarcoma cells via apoptosis and autophagy. J. Cell. Biochem. 114: 366–377, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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