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J Pediatr Surg. 1999 Nov;34(11):1603-5.

Promoting effect of estrogen on the proliferation of hemangioma vascular endothelial cells in vitro.

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Department of Surgery, Children's Hospital and the Institute of Radiation Medicine, Shanghai Medical University, China.



This study was designed to observe whether estrogen can enhance the proliferation of hemangioma vascular endothelial cells (VECs) and, if so, the possible inhibiting effect of tamoxifen against estrogen.


Two skin hemangiomas with positive estrogen receptor staining from 2 infants were used for VECs culture. Based on different culture conditions and treatment, the subcultured VECs of passage 3 derived from a hemangioma were divided into 5 groups: group 1, control without endothelial cell growth supplement (ECGS) in medium; group 2, estradiol (E2) without ECGS; group 3, control with ECGS in medium; group 4, E2 with ECGS; group 5, E2 and 4OH-tamoxifen with ECGS. Cell counts and 3H-TdR incorporations were determined on culture days 3, 6, and 9. VECs from the other hemangioma were divided into 2 groups: group 3, control with ECGS in medium; group 4, E2 with ECGS.


At the end of the 9-day study, the cell counts (x10(4)/mL) of the 5 groups were 6.31+/-1.24, 6.52+/-1.08, 15.62+/-1.88, 36.77+/-3.96, and 6.88+/-1.20, respectively. 3H-TdR incorporations (cpm) were 511+/-127, 538+/-26, 1,350+/-67, 2,729+/-145, and 575+/-64, respectively. The results of the other hemangioma were similar to those of the first one. Our data showed that without ECGS in medium, E2 had no effect on the proliferation of VECs (group 1 v group 2, P>.05); with ECGS in medium, E2 yielded a 2-fold increase in the proliferation of VECs (group 3 v group 4, P<.01); when 4OH-tamoxifen was added, the proliferation of VECs was suppressed dramatically (group 4 vgroup 5, P<.01).


Estrogen in vitro can promote the proliferation of hemangioma VECs. This promoting effect of estrogen may depend on certain growth factors, which can be inhibited by tamoxifen.

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