OBJECTIVE: To comparatively investigate the expression of several integrins in specimens of human bone metastases and degenerative bone tissue. METHODS: Degenerative cancellous tissue was obtained from a sample of human degenerative spine. Thirteen human specimens were obtained from metastatic spine tumors, whose primary cancer was colon cancer (n=3), hepatocellular cancer (n=3), lung cancer (n=4), and breast cancer (n=3). The expression of vimentin and integrins alphav, beta1, and beta3 was assessed in metastatic and degenerative specimens by immunohistochemistry and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). RESULTS: Immunohistochemical staining showed that vimentin and integrin alphav was broadly expressed in all tissues examined. By contrast, integrin beta1 was weakly expressed only in 38.4% (5/13) of tissues. Integrin beta3 was consistently negative in all cases examined. qRT-PCR analysis showed that vimentin gene expression was higher in all metastatic specimens, as compared to degenerative bone. The gene expression of integrin alphav in breast specimen was significantly higher than others (p=0.045). The gene expression of integrin beta1 was also higher in all metastatic specimens than in degenerative bone tissue. The gene expression of integrin beta3 was variable. CONCLUSION: Spinal metastatic tumors have mesenchymal characteristics such as increased expression of vimentin. The increased expression of integrin alphav and beta1 in spine metastatic tumors suggests that adhesive molecules such as integrin may have implications for the prevention of spine metastasis.