Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Pathol. 2001 Aug;159(2):651-9.

Vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated autocrine stimulation of prostate tumor cells coincides with progression to a malignant phenotype.

Author information

Department of Urology, Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is often produced at high levels by tumor cells, is a well-known mediator of tumor angiogenesis. VEGF receptor tyrosine kinases, KDR/Flk-1 and Flt-1, have been thought to be expressed exclusively by endothelial cells. In this study, we have used a prostate tumor progression series comprised of a differentiated rat prostate epithelial cell line, NbE-1, and its highly motile clonal derivative, FB2. Injection of NbE-1 cells into the inferior vena cava of syngeneic rats indicated that these cells are nontumorigenic. Using the same model, FB2 cells generated rapidly growing and well-vascularized tumors in the lungs. NbE-1 expressed marginal levels of VEGF, whereas high levels of VEGF protein were detected in FB2-conditioned medium and in FB2 tumors in vivo. Analysis of (125)I-VEGF(165) binding to NbE-1 and FB2 cells indicated that only motile FB2 cells expressed the VEGF receptor Flt-1. Consistent with this finding, physiological concentrations of VEGF induced chemotactic migration in FB2 but not in NbE-1 cells. This is the first documentation of a functional Flt-1 receptor in prostate tumor cells. Our results suggest two roles for VEGF in tumor progression: a paracrine role as an angiogenic factor and a previously undescribed role as an autocrine mediator of tumor cell motility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center