Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) has been implicated in multiple
aspects of human cancer. However, its role in bladder carcinogenesis and metastasis
are unclear,with some studies suggesting it may be a promoter and others arguing the
opposite. Using a chemical carcinogenesis model in Sparc-deficient
mice and their wild-type littermates, we found that loss of SPARC accelerated the
development of urothelial preneoplasia (atypia and dysplasia), neoplasia, and
metastasis and was associated with decreased survival. SPARC reduced
carcinogen-induced inflammation and accumulation of reactive oxygen species as well
as urothelial cell proliferation. Loss of SPARC was associated with an inflammatory
phenotype of tumor-associated macrophages and fibroblasts, with concomitant increased
activation of urothelial and stromal NF-κB and AP1 in vivo and in vitro.
Syngeneic spontaneous and experimental metastasis models revealed that tumor- and
stroma-derived SPARC reduced tumor growth and metastasis through inhibition of
cancer-associated inflammation and lung colonization. In human bladder tumor tissues,
the frequency and intensity of SPARC expression were inversely correlated with
disease-specific survival. These results indicate that SPARC is produced by benign
and malignant compartments of bladder carcinomas where it functions to suppress
bladder carcinogenesis, progression, and metastasis.
Inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) are key regulators of apoptosis and are inhibited by the second mitocondrial activator of caspases (SMAC). Previously, a small subset of TNFα-expressing non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) was found to be sensitive to SMAC mimetics alone. In this study we determined if a SMAC mimetic (JP1201) could sensitize non-responsive NSCLC cell lines to standard chemotherapy. We found that JP1201 sensitized NSCLCs to doxorubicin, erlotinib, gemcitabine, paclitaxel, vinorelbine, and the combination of carboplatin with paclitaxel in a synergistic manner at clinically achievable drug concentrations. Sensitization did not occur with platinum alone. Furthermore, sensitization was specific for tumor compared to normal lung epithelial cells, increased in NSCLCs harvested after chemotherapy treatment, and did not induce TNFα secretion. Sensitization also was enhanced in vivo with increased tumor inhibition and increased survival of mice carrying xenografts. These effects were accompanied by caspase 3, 4, and 9 activation, indicating that both mitochondrial and ER stress-induced apoptotic pathways are activated by the combination of vinorelbine and JP1201. Chemotherapies that induce cell death through the mitochondrial pathway required only inhibition of XIAP for sensitization, while chemotherapies that induce cell death through multiple apoptotic pathways required inhibition of cIAP1, cIAP2, and XIAP. Therefore, the data suggest that IAP-targeted therapy using a SMAC mimetic provides a new therapeutic strategy for synergistic sensitization of NSCLCs to standard chemotherapy agents, which appears to occur independently of TNFα secretion.
non-small cell lung cancer; smac mimetic; vinorelbine; gemcitabine; IAPs
Lung cancer (LC) is a leading cause of death worldwide. Recent advances in chemotherapeutic agents have not yielded any significant improvement in the prognosis of patients with LC. The five-year survival rate for all combined disease stages remains about 15%. For this reason, new therapies such as those that inhibit tumor angiogenesis or block activity of growth factor receptors are of special interest in this group of patients. In this review we will summarize the most recent clinical data on biologic therapies that inhibit tumor angiogenesis in LC, focusing on those that are most clinically relevant.
lung cancer; angiogenesis; VEGF; antiangiogenesis
Perioperative blood transfusion in pancreatic cancer patients is linked to decreased survival; however, a causal mechanism has not been determined. During processing and storage of packed red blood cells (pRBCs) biologically active molecules accumulate in the acellular plasma fraction; therefore, we hypothesize that the plasma fraction of pRBCs promotes tumor progression.
Proliferation and migration of murine pancreas cancer and control cells were determined in vitro in response to the plasma fraction from leukocyte and non-leukocyte reduced, fresh versus stored pRBCs. Lastly, an immunocompetent murine model was used to assess the affect of the plasma fraction of pRBCs on pancreas cancer progression.
Incubation of pancreatic cancer cells with the plasma fraction of pRBCs increased proliferation and migration. Intravenous delivery of the acellular plasma fraction to mice with pancreatic cancer significantly increased the tumor weight in both leukocyte reduced and non-leukocyte reduced pRBCs groups (p<0.01) although tumor growth and morbidity was greatest in the non-leukocyte reduced group.
The plasma fraction of stored pRBCs promotes murine pancreatic cancer proliferation and migration in vitro and when administered intravenously significantly augments pancreatic cancer growth in immunocompetent mice.
transfusion; pancreas cancer; metastasis; proliferation; erythrocytes; immunomodulation
The innate immune signaling kinase, TBK1, couples pathogen surveillance to induction of host defense mechanisms. Pathological activation of TBK1 in cancer can overcome programmed cell death cues, enabling cells to survive oncogenic stress. The mechanistic basis of TBK1 prosurvival signaling, however, has been enigmatic. Here we show that TBK1 directly activates AKT by phosphorylation of the canonical activation loop and hydrophobic motif sites independently of PDK1 and mTORC2. Upon mitogen stimulation, triggering of the innate immune response, re-exposure to glucose, or oncogene activation, TBK1 is recruited to the exocyst, where it activates AKT. In cells lacking TBK1, insulin activates AKT normally, but AKT activation by exocyst-dependent mechanisms is impaired. Discovery and characterization of a 6-aminopyrazolopyrimidine derivative, as a selective low nanomolar TBK1 inhibitor, indicates this regulatory arm can be pharmacologically perturbed independently of canonical PI3K/PDK1 signaling. Thus, AKT is a direct TBK1 substrate that connects TBK1 to prosurvival signaling.
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma, a desmoplastic disease, is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in the Western world due, in large part, to locally invasive primary tumor growth and ensuing metastasis. SPARC is a matricellular protein that governs extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition and maturation during tissue remodeling, particularly, during wound healing and tumorigenesis. In the present study, we sought to determine the mechanism by which lack of host SPARC alters the tumor microenvironment and enhances invasion and metastasis of an orthotopic model of pancreatic cancer. We identified that levels of active TGFβ1 were increased significantly in tumors grown in SPARC-null mice. TGFβ1 contributes to many aspects of tumor development including metastasis, endothelial cell permeability, inflammation and fibrosis, all of which are altered in the absence of stromal-derived SPARC. Given these results, we performed a survival study to assess the contribution of increased TGFβ1 activity to tumor progression in SPARC-null mice using losartan, an angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist that diminishes TGFβ1 expression and activation in vivo. Tumors grown in SPARC-null mice progressed more quickly than those grown in wild-type littermates leading to a significant reduction in median survival. However, median survival of SPARC-null animals treated with losartan was extended to that of losartan-treated wild-type controls. In addition, losartan abrogated TGFβ induced gene expression, reduced local invasion and metastasis, decreased vascular permeability and altered the immune profile of tumors grown in SPARC-null mice. These data support the concept that aberrant TGFβ1-activation in the absence of host SPARC contributes significantly to tumor progression and suggests that SPARC, by controlling ECM deposition and maturation, can regulate TGFβ availability and activation.
SPARC prevents endoglin association with αV integrin, which blocks the activation of TGF-β signaling and promotes pericyte migration to nascent blood vessels.
Pericytes migrate to nascent vessels and promote vessel stability. Recently, we reported that secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC)–deficient mice exhibited decreased pericyte-associated vessels in an orthotopic model of pancreatic cancer, suggesting that SPARC influences pericyte behavior. In this paper, we report that SPARC promotes pericyte migration by regulating the function of endoglin, a TGF-β1 accessory receptor. Primary SPARC-deficient pericytes exhibited increased basal TGF-β1 activity and decreased cell migration, an effect blocked by inhibiting TGF-β1. Furthermore, TGF-β–mediated inhibition of pericyte migration was dependent on endoglin and αV integrin. SPARC interacted directly with endoglin and reduced endoglin interaction with αV integrin. SPARC deficiency resulted in endoglin-mediated blockade of pericyte migration, aberrant association of endoglin in focal complexes, an increase in αV integrins present in endoglin immunoprecipitates, and enhanced αV integrin–mediated activation of TGF-β. These results demonstrate that SPARC promotes pericyte migration by diminishing TGF-β activity and identify a novel function for endoglin in controlling pericyte behavior.
There is growing evidence that vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), a ligand of the receptor tyrosine kinases VEGFR1 and VEGFR2, promotes lymphangiogenesis. However, the underlying mechanisms by which VEGF-A induces the growth of lymphatic vessels remain poorly defined. Here we report that VEGFR2, not VEGFR1, is the primary receptor regulating VEGF-A-induced lymphangiogenesis. We show that specific inhibition of VEGF-A/VEGFR2 signaling with the fully human monoclonal antibody r84 significantly inhibits lymphangiogenesis in MDA-MB-231 tumors. In vitro experiments with primary human dermal lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) demonstrate that blocking VEGF-A activation of VEGFR2, not VEGFR1, significantly inhibits VEGF-A-induced proliferation and migration of LECs. We show that VEGF-A stimulation of LECs leads to the phosphorylation of VEGFR2 (Tyr 951, 1054, 1059, 1175, and 1214) which subsequently triggers PKC dependent phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and PI3-K dependent phosphorylation of Akt. Additionally, we demonstrate that inhibitors that suppress the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and Akt significantly block VEGF-A- induced proliferation and migration of LECs. Together, these results shed light on the mechanisms regulating VEGF-A-induced proliferation and migration of LECs, reveal that VEGFR2 is the primary signaling VEGF-A receptor on lymphatic endothelium, and suggest that therapeutic agents targeting the VEGF-A/VEGFR2 axis could be useful in blocking the pathological formation of lymphatic vessels.
Several studies demonstrate that hematopoietic tissues are a source of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), which contribute to newly formed blood vessels during tissue repair in adults. However, it is not clear which cell type in these hematopoietic tissues gives rise to EPCs.
To identity the origin of endothelial progenitors within the hematopoietic hierarchy, and assess their in vivo revascularization potential.
Methods and Results
Using a single cell sorting approach and in vitro multi-lineage differentiation assays, here we show that individual CD34+CD45+CD133+CD38+ cells from cord blood uniquely have the ability to differentiate into T and B lymphoid, myeloid, and endothelial cells. The latter were characterized by the expression of VE-cadherin, KDR, vWF, eNOs, the lack of CD45, CD133 and c-fms. Unexpectedly when transplanted into hind-limb ischemic NOD-scid IL2Rgammanull mice, freshly-isolated CD34+CD45+CD133+CD38+ cells maintained their hematopoietic identity and were rarely found to integrate into host blood vessels. Nevertheless, they significantly improve perfusion, most likely through a paracrine mechanism. On the other hand, endothelial cells derived in vitro from this fraction, are able to form vessels in vivo in both Matrigel plug and hind-limb ischemia transplantation assays.
These findings indicate that the CD34+CD45+CD133+CD38+ cell fraction contains a common progenitor for the hematopoietic and vascular lineages, and may represent a valuable cell source for therapeutic applications.
Cord blood; clonal analyses; endothelial progenitors; ischemia; engraftment
To investigate the frequency of xenotropic murine leukemia virus (MLV) presence in human cell lines established from mouse xenografts and to search for the evidence of horizontal viral spread to other cell lines.
Six of 23 (26%) mouse DNA free xenograft cultures were strongly positive for MLV and their sequences had greater than 99% homology to known MLV strains. Four of five available supernatant fluids from these viral positive cultures were strongly positive for RT activity. Three of these supernatant fluids were studied to confirm the infectivity of the released virions for other human culture cells. Of the 78 non-xenograft derived cell lines maintained in the xenograft culture-containing facilities, 13 (17%) were positive for MLV, including XMRV, a virus strain first identified in human tissues. By contrast, all 50 cultures maintained in a xenograft culture-free facility were negative for viral sequences.
We examined xenograft tumor cell lines from seven independent laboratories and 128 non-xenografted tumor cell lines. Cell line DNA was examined for mouse DNA contamination, and by 3 Taqman qPCR assays targeting the gag, env or pol regions of MLV. Sequencing was used for viral strain identification. Supernatant fluids were tested for reverse transcriptase (RT) activity.
Human cultures derived after mouse xenografting frequently contain and release highly infectious xenotropic MLV viruses. Laboratories working with xenograft-derived human cultures should be aware of the risk of contamination with potentially biohazardous human-tropic mouse viruses and their horizontal spread to other cultures.
xenograft cultures; xenotropic murine leukemia virus; retrovirus; XMRV virus; cell cultures; lung cancer; prostate cell line
The synthesis of a polylysine dendron containing eight GdDOTA units conjugated to peptoid dimer known to have a high affinity for the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) is described. This simple low molecular weight system with a molecular r1 relaxivity of ~48 mM−1s−1 is shown to enhance MR images of tumors grown in mice in vivo.
Failure of chemotherapy in the treatment of pancreatic cancer is often due to resistance to therapy-induced apoptosis. A major mechanism for such resistance is the expression and activity of inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (IAPs). Smac is a mitochondrial protein that inhibits IAPs. We show that JP1201, a Smac mimetic, is a potent enhancer of chemotherapy in robust mouse models of pancreatic cancer. Combination of JP1201 with gemcitabine reduced primary and metastatic tumor burden in orthotopic xenograft and syngenic tumor models, induced regression of established tumors, and prolonged survival in xenograft and transgenic models of pancreatic cancer. The effect of JP1201 was phenocopied by XIAP siRNA in vitro and correlated with elevated levels of TNFα protein in vivo. The continued development of JP1201 and other strategies designed to enhance therapy-induced apoptosis in pancreatic cancer is warranted.
pancreatic cancer; smac; apoptosis; gemcitabine; IAPs
Angiogenesis is required in normal physiological processes, but is also involved in tumor growth, progression and metastasis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a primary mediator of angiogenesis in normal physiology and in disease, and other VEGF family members and their receptors provide targets that have been explored extensively for cancer therapy. Small molecule inhibitors and antibody/protein-based strategies that target the VEGF pathway have been studied in multiple types of cancer. This review will focus on VEGF pathway targeting antibodies that are currently being evaluated in pre-clinical and clinical studies.
VEGF; VEGF receptors; antibodies; cancer therapy
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is highly resistant to conventional chemotherapy, in part due to the overexpression of inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (IAPs). Smac is an endogenous IAP-antagonist, which renders synthetic Smac mimetics attractive anticancer agents. We evaluated the benefits of combining a Smac mimetic, JP1201 (JP), with conventional chemotherapy agents used for PDAC management.
Cell viability assays and protein expression analysis were performed using WST-1 reagent and Western blotting, respectively. Apoptosis was detected by annexin V/propidium iodide staining. In vivo tumor growth and survival studies were performed in murine PDAC xenografts.
JP and gemcitabine (Gem) inhibited PDAC cell proliferation with additive effects in combination. The percentage of early apoptotic cells in controls, JP, Gem and JP + Gem was 17%, 26%, 26% and 38%, respectively. JP-induced apoptosis was accompanied by PARP-1 cleavage. Similar additive anti-proliferative effects were seen for combinations of JP with doxorubicin (Dox) and docetaxel (DT). The JP + Gem combination caused a 30% decrease in tumor size in vivo compared to controls. Median animal survival was improved significantly in mice treated with JP + Gem (38 d) compared to controls (22 d), JP (28 d) or Gem (32 d) (p = 0.01). Animal survival was also improved with JP + DT treatment (32 d) compared to controls (16 d), JP (21 d) or DT alone (27 d).
These results warrant further exploration of strategies that promote chemotherapy-induced apoptosis of tumors and highlight the potential of Smac mimetics in clinical PDAC therapy.
Targeted expression of MYCN to the neural crest [under control of the rat tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) promoter] causes neuroblastoma in transgenic mice (TH-MYCN) and is a well-established model for this disease. Because high levels of MYCN are associated with enhanced tumor angiogenesis and poor clinical outcome in neuroblastoma, we serially characterized malignant progression, angiogenesis, and sensitivity to angiogenic blockade in tumors from these animals. Tumor cells were proliferative, secreted high levels of the angiogenic ligand vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and recruited a complex vasculature expressing the angiogenic markers VEGF-R2, α-SMA, and matrix metalloproteinases MMP-2 and MMP-9, all of which are also expressed in human disease. Treatment of established murine tumors with the angiogenesis inhibitor TNP-470 caused near-complete ablation, with reduced proliferation, enhanced apoptosis, and vasculature disruption. Because TNP-470 has been associated with neurotoxicity, we tested the recently described water-soluble HPMA copolymer–TNP-470 conjugate (caplostatin), which showed comparable efficacy and was well tolerated without weight loss or neurotoxicity as measured by rotarod testing. This study highlights the importance of angiogenesis inhibition in a spontaneous murine tumor with native tumor–microenvironment interactions, validates the use of mice transgenic for TH-MYCN as a model for therapy in this common pediatric tumor, and supports further clinical development of caplostatin as an antiangiogenic therapy in childhood neuroblastoma.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is critical for physiological and pathological angiogenesis. Within the tumor microenvironment, VEGF functions as an endothelial cell survival factor, permeability factor, mitogen, and chemotactic agent. The majority of these functions are mediated by VEGF-induced activation of VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2), a high affinity receptor tyrosine kinase expressed by endothelial cells and other cell types in the tumor microenvironment. VEGF can also ligate other cell surface receptors including VEGFR1 and neuropilin-1 and -2. However, the importance of VEGF-induced activation of these receptors in tumorigenesis is still unclear. We report the development and characterization of r84, a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds human and mouse VEGF and selectively blocks VEGF from interacting with VEGFR2 but does not interfere with VEGF∶VEGFR1 interaction. Selective blockade of VEGF binding to VEGFR2 by r84 is shown through ELISA, receptor binding assays, receptor activation assays, and cell-based functional assays. Furthermore, we show that r84 has potent anti-tumor activity and does not alter tissue histology or blood and urine chemistry after chronic high dose therapy in mice. In addition, chronic r84 therapy does not induce elevated blood pressure levels in some models. The ability of r84 to specifically block VEGF∶VEGFR2 binding provides a valuable tool for the characterization of VEGF receptor pathway activation during tumor progression and highlights the utility and safety of selective blockade of VEGF-induced VEGFR2 signaling in tumors.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a primary stimulant of angiogenesis under physiological and pathological conditions. Anti-VEGF therapy is a clinically proven strategy for the treatment of a variety of cancers including colon, breast, lung, and renal cell carcinoma. Since VEGFR2 is the dominant angiogenic signaling receptor, it has become an important target in the development of novel anti-angiogenic therapies. We have reported previously the development of an antagonistic VEGFR2 peptoid (GU40C4) that has promising anti-angiogenic activity in vitro and in vivo.
In the current study, we utilize a derivative of GU40C4, termed GU81 in therapy studies. GU81 was tested alone or in combination with doxorubicin for in vivo efficacy in the MMTV-PyMT transgenic model of breast cancer.
The derivative GU81 has increased in vitro efficacy compared to GU40C4. Single agent therapy (doxorubicin or GU81 alone) had no effect on tumor weight, histology, tumor fat content, or tumor growth index. However, GU81 is able to significantly to reduce total vascular area as a single agent. GU81 used in combination with doxorubicin significantly reduced tumor weight and growth index compared to all other treatment groups. Furthermore, treatment with combination therapy significantly arrested tumor progression at the premalignant stage, resulting in increased tumor fat content. Interestingly, treatment with GU81 alone increased tumor-VEGF levels and macrophage infiltration, an effect that was abrogated when used in combination with doxorubicin.
This study demonstrates the VEGFR2 antagonist peptoid, GU81, enhances the anti-tumor activity of doxorubicin in spontaneous murine MMTV-PyMT breast tumors.
Steroid hormone receptors function classically in the nucleus as transcription factors. However, recent data indicate that there are also non-nuclear subpopulations of steroid hormone receptors, including estrogen receptors (ERs), that mediate membrane-initiated signaling of unclear basis and significance. Here we have shown that an estrogen-dendrimer conjugate (EDC) that is excluded from the nucleus stimulates endothelial cell proliferation and migration via ERα, direct ERα-Gαi interaction, and endothelial NOS (eNOS) activation. Analysis of mice carrying an estrogen response element luciferase reporter, ER-regulated genes in the mouse uterus, and eNOS enzyme activation further indicated that EDC specifically targets non-nuclear processes in vivo. In mice, estradiol and EDC equally stimulated carotid artery reendothelialization in an ERα- and G protein–dependent manner, and both agents attenuated the development of neointimal hyperplasia following endothelial injury. In contrast, endometrial carcinoma cell growth in vitro and uterine enlargement and MCF-7 cell breast cancer xenograft growth in vivo were stimulated by estradiol but not EDC. Thus, EDC is a non-nuclear selective ER modulator (SERM) in vivo, and in mice, non-nuclear ER signaling promotes cardiovascular protection. These processes potentially could be harnessed to provide vascular benefit without increasing the risk of uterine or breast cancer.
Tumor angiogenesis is a complex process resulting from many signals from the tumor microenvironment. From preclinical animal models to clinical trials and practice, targeting tumors with antiangiogenic therapy remains an exciting area of study. Although many scientific advances have been achieved, leading to the development and clinical use of antiangiogenic drugs such as bevacizumab, sorafenib, and sunitinib, these therapies fall short of their anticipated benefits and leave many questions unanswered. Continued research into the complex signaling cascades that promote tumor angiogenesis may yield new targets or improve upon current therapies. In addition, the development of reliable tools to track tumor responses to antiangiogenic therapy will enable a better understanding of current therapeutic efficacy and may elucidate mechanisms to predict patient response to therapy.
Disruption of the precise balance of positive and negative molecular regulators of blood and lymphatic vessels can lead to myriad diseases that affect one in four people worldwide. Although dozens of natural inhibitors of hemangiogenesis have been identified, an endogenous selective inhibitor of lymphatic vessels has not yet been described. We report the existence of a secreted, splice variant of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (sVegfr-2) that inhibits developmental and reparative lymphangiogenesis by blocking Vegf-c. Tissue-specific loss of sVegfr-2 in mice induced, at birth, spontaneous lymphatic invasion of the normally alymphatic cornea and hyperplasia of skin lymphatics without accompanying changes in blood vasculature. sVegfr-2 inhibited lymphangiogenesis but not hemangiogenesis induced by corneal suture injury or transplantation, enhanced corneal allograft survival, and suppressed lymphangioma cellular proliferation. Naturally occurring sVegfr-2 is a molecular uncoupler of blood and lymphatic vessels whose modulation might have a therapeutic role in lymphatic vascular malformations, transplantation, and potentially in tumor lymphangiogenesis and lymphedema.
During carcinogenesis of pancreatic islets in transgenic mice, an angiogenic switch activates the quiescent vasculature. Paradoxically, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors are expressed constitutively. Nevertheless, a synthetic inhibitor (SU5416) of VEGF signalling impairs angiogenic switching and tumour growth. Two metalloproteinases, MMP-2/gelatinase-A and MMP-9/gelatinase-B, are upregulated in angiogenic lesions. MMP-9 can render normal islets angiogenic, releasing VEGF. MMP inhibitors reduce angiogenic switching, and tumour number and growth, as does genetic ablation of MMP-9. Absence of MMP-2 does not impair induction of angiogenesis, but retards tumour growth, whereas lack of urokinase has no effect. Our results show that MMP-9 is a component of the angiogenic switch.
Opiates, such as morphine, decrease neurogenesis in the postnatal hippocampal subgranular zone (SGZ) by inhibiting progenitor proliferation and maturation. However, it is not known how morphine influences the growth factors and vasculature that encompass the neurogenic SGZ microenvironment. We examined morphine’s effect on pro- and anti-proliferative factors in the dentate gyrus (DG; Experiment 1) as well as the DG neurovasculature itself (Experiment 2). For Experiment 1, mice were implanted with sham or morphine pellets subcutaneously (s.c.; 0 and 48 hrs) and were decapitated 24 or 96 hrs later. One brain hemisphere was post fixed to examine proliferation by immunohistochemistry, and a DG-enriched sample was dissected from the other hemisphere to examine the neurogenic microenvironment via immunoblotting for known pro- and anti-proliferative factors. Consistent with previous results, morphine decreased the number of proliferating cells in the SGZ, as the number of Ki67-immunoreactive (IR) cells was decreased at 96 hrs. Morphine did not alter DG levels of the pro-proliferative factor BDNF, anti-proliferative factor IL1β, or their receptors TrkB and IL1R1 at either time point. However, morphine increased the pro-proliferative factor VEGF at 96 hrs. Given that VEGF is also a potent angiogenic factor, Experiment 2 examined whether the morphine-induced increase in VEGF correlated with altered DG neurovasculature. Mice were implanted with morphine pellets as in Experiment 1, and two hrs before perfusion (24 or 96 hrs) were administered bromodeoxyuridine intraperitoneally (BrdU, i.p.; 150 mg/kg). Tissue was co-stained for BrdU and the endothelial cell marker endoglin to enable examination of DG vessels and proximity of BrdU-IR cells to endoglin-IR vessels. At 96 hrs, endoglin-IR vessel area and perimeter were increased, but proximity of BrdU-IR cells to endoglin-IR vessels remained unchanged. These data suggest that following chronic morphine exposure, factors within the neurogenic microenvironment are maintained or upregulated to compensate for decreased SGZ proliferation.
morphine; proliferation; VEGF; BDNF; neurovasculature; neurogenic niche
Adipose tissue can undergo rapid expansion during times of excess caloric intake. Like a rapidly expanding tumor mass, obese adipose tissue becomes hypoxic due to the inability of the vasculature to keep pace with tissue growth. Consequently, during the early stages of obesity, hypoxic conditions cause an increase in the level of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) expression. Using a transgenic model of overexpression of a constitutively active form of HIF1α, we determined that HIF1α fails to induce the expected proangiogenic response. In contrast, we observed that HIF1α initiates adipose tissue fibrosis, with an associated increase in local inflammation. “Trichrome- and picrosirius red-positive streaks,” enriched in fibrillar collagens, are a hallmark of adipose tissue suffering from the early stages of hypoxia-induced fibrosis. Lysyl oxidase (LOX) is a transcriptional target of HIF1α and acts by cross-linking collagen I and III to form the fibrillar collagen fibers. Inhibition of LOX activity by β-aminoproprionitrile treatment results in a significant improvement in several metabolic parameters and further reduces local adipose tissue inflammation. Collectively, our observations are consistent with a model in which adipose tissue hypoxia serves as an early upstream initiator for adipose tissue dysfunction by inducing a local state of fibrosis.
Although many clinical studies have found a correlation of SPARC expression with malignant progression and patient survival, the mechanisms for SPARC function in tumorigenesis and metastasis remain elusive. The activity of SPARC is context- and cell-type-dependent, which is highlighted by the fact that SPARC has shown seemingly contradictory effects on tumor progression in both clinical correlative studies and in animal models. The capacity of SPARC to dictate tumorigenic phenotype has been attributed to its effects on the bioavailability and signaling of integrins and growth factors/chemokines. These molecular pathways contribute to many physiological events affecting malignant progression, including extracellular matrix remodeling, angiogenesis, immune modulation and metastasis. Given that SPARC is credited with such varied activities, this review presents a comprehensive account of the divergent effects of SPARC in human cancers and mouse models, as well as a description of the potential mechanisms by which SPARC mediates these effects. We aim to provide insight into how a matricellular protein such as SPARC might generate paradoxical, yet relevant, tumor outcomes in order to unify an apparently incongruent collection of scientific literature.
Angiogenesis; Extracellular matrix; Matricellular protein; Metastasis; Microenvironment; Osteonectin; SPARC; Tumor
Interactions between the extracellular matrix (ECM) and cells are critical in embryonic development, tissue homeostasis, physiological remodeling, and tumorigenesis. Matricellular proteins, a group of ECM components, mediate cell-ECM interactions. One such molecule, Fibulin-5 is a 66-kDa glycoprotein secreted by various cell types, including vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs), fibroblasts, and endothelial cells. Fibulin-5 contributes to the formation of elastic fibers by binding to structural components including tropoelastin and fibrillin-1, and to cross-linking enzymes, aiding elastic fiber assembly. Mice deficient in the fibulin-5 gene (Fbln5) exhibit systemic elastic fiber defects with manifestations of loose skin, tortuous aorta, emphysematous lung and genital prolapse. Although Fbln5 expression is down-regulated after birth, following the completion of elastic fiber formation, expression is reactivated upon tissue injury, affecting diverse cellular functions independent of its elastogenic function. Fibulin-5 contains an evolutionally conserved arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) motif in the N-terminal region, which mediates binding to a subset of integrins, including α5β1, αvβ3, and αvβ5. Fibulin-5 enhances substrate attachment of endothelial cells, while inhibiting migration and proliferation in a cell type- and context-dependent manner. The antagonistic function of fibulin-5 in angiogenesis has been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo; fibulin-5 may block angiogenesis by inducing the anti-angiogenic molecule thrompospondin-1, by antagonizing VEGF165-mediated signaling, and/or by antagonizing fibronectin-mediated signaling through directly binding and blocking the α5β1 fibronectin receptor. The overall effect of fibulin-5 on tumor growth depends on the balance between the inhibitory property of fibulin-5 on angiogenesis and the direct effect of fibulin-5 on proliferation and migration of tumor cells. However, the effect of tumor-derived versus host microenvironment-derived fibulin-5 remains to be evaluated.
Angiogenesis; Cutis laxa; Elastic fibers; Fibulin; Fibronectin; Integrin; ROS; Thrombospondin; Tumor