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Am J Pathol. 2001 Sep;159(3):1137-47.

Adenoviral vector expressing murine angiostatin inhibits a model of breast cancer metastatic growth in the lungs of mice.

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Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Centre for Gene Therapeutics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Angiostatin, an internal fragment of plasminogen, has been shown to inhibit the process of angiogenesis or neovascularization. In this study, we have expressed the cDNA for murine angiostatin under the control of the human cytomegalovirus promoter from a human type-5 adenovirus and shown that this vector produces a protein which retains biological activity. Angiostatin expression was determined by Northern blot analysis and Western immunoblotting. Ad-angiostatin, but not a control vector Ad-dl70, significantly reduced the viability of infected human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) in vitro. In an in vivo model of basic fibroblast growth factor-induced angiogenesis, Ad-angiostatin (1 x 10(9) pfu) could inhibit endothelial cell migration and the formation of capillaries within a Matrigel plug which had been implanted for one week subcutaneously into C57BL/6 mice. Endothelial cells in these plugs had an altered, rounded, phenotype with dark picnotic nuclei indicative of apoptosis, which was confirmed using transmission electron microscopy. In contrast, endothelial cells from bFGF alone or in combination with the control vector-treated plugs retained the long spindle shape characteristic of endothelial cells. Intranasal delivery of Ad-angiostatin into the lungs of FVB/n mice demonstrated comparable cellular infiltration in the recovered bronchoalveolar lavage fluid with no signs of abnormal pathology as compared to PBS or control vector-treated animals. In a pulmonary metastatic breast cancer model, the delivery of Ad-angiostatin (1 x 10(9) pfu) to the lung significantly delayed tumor growth as measured by the number of visible surface tumor nodules. This study has demonstrated that the specific targeting of tumors to inhibit angiogenesis using an adenovirus expressing angiostatin, may deliver localized concentrations of protein having a greater impact on inhibition of tumor growth.

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