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Our previous study showed that exogenous human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) targeted established osteosarcoma and promoted its growth and pulmonary metastasis in vivo. As a follow-up, the present study aimed to investigate how hMSCs would interact with Saos-2 through autocrine/paracrine communication. The results showed that co-injection of hMSCs with Saos-2 into the proximal tibia of nude mice could promote tumor growth and progression. In vitro, the proliferation of Saos-2 and hMSCs was promoted by each other’s conditioned medium, in which interleukin-6 (IL-6) played an important role. Osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs could be inhibited by conditioned medium of Saos-2, in which IL-6 was also involved. Furthermore, decreased IL-6 secretion by hMSCs during its osteogenesis and increased IL-6 secretion in response to conditioned medium of Saos-2 were observed. Based on these data, we suggest that there was a positive feedback loop of IL-6 in the interaction between hMSCs and Saos-2. (Cancer Sci 2010; 101: 2554–2560)