3D cell cultures have revolutionized the understanding of cell behavior, allowing culture of cells with the possibility of resembling in vivo intercellular signaling and cell-extracellular matrix interaction. The effect of limited oxygen penetration into 3D culture of highly metastatic osteosarcoma 143B cells in terms of expression of nitro-oxidative stress markers was investigated and compared to standard 2D cell culture. Human osteosarcoma (143B cell line) cells were cultured as monolayers, in collagen and Matrigel. Cell viability, gene expression of nitro-oxidative stress markers, and vascular endothelial growth factor were determined using Trypan blue assay, quantitative polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. Three-dimensional environments modify nitro-oxidative stress and influence gene expression and cell proliferation of OS 143B cells. Commercial cell lines might not constitute a good model of 3D cultures for bone tissue engineering, as they are highly sensitive to hypoxia, and hypoxic conditions can induce oxidation of the cellular environment.