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J Pediatr Surg. 2005 Jan;40(1):236-43.

Adeno-associated virus vector-mediated delivery of pigment epithelium-derived factor restricts neuroblastoma angiogenesis and growth.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and University of Tennessee-Memphis Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-mediated delivery of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) to inhibit neuroblastoma (NB) xenograft growth. Pigment epithelium-derived factor was chosen for this study because, in addition to being a potent inhibitor of angiogenesis, it is capable of inducing neuronal differentiation.


Cohorts of mice received either recombinant AAV encoding human PEDF (rAAV-hPEDF) at a range of doses or control vector via tail vein. Subsequent hPEDF expression was measured by enzyme-linked immunoassay. After 6 weeks, the mice were given human NB cells by retroperitoneal injection and then killed 5 weeks later. Tumor weight, microvessel density, tumor differentiation, apoptosis, and levels of intratumoral vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression were determined at that time. In subsequent cohorts of mice, AAV-mediated murine PEDF expression was tested against both human NB xenografts and murine tumors.


In a series of in vitro studies, PEDF was shown to inhibit endothelial cell activation and to stimulate differentiation of NB cell lines. After tail vein injection of rAAV-hPEDF, stable transgene expression was generated and correlated with levels of vector administration. Human NB xenograft growth was restricted by hPEDF in a dose-dependent fashion. Intratumoral VEGF expression and microvessel density were decreased, and tumor cell apoptosis was increased in PEDF-treated mice.


Treatment with PEDF had a significant impact on NB growth in mice when delivered continuously using a gene therapy-mediated approach. The activity of PEDF appears to be mediated in part by inhibition of tumor-induced angiogenesis through down-regulation of tumor-elaborated VEGF, with subsequent intratumoral apoptosis. Furthermore, hPEDF was able to induce NB differentiation in vitro and in vivo. In addition, antitumor efficacy was seen when mouse PEDF was used to treat syngeneic murine tumors. In our murine models, gene therapy-mediated delivery of PEDF appears promising for the treatment of neuroblastoma.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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