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Nat Med. 2001 Nov;7(11):1194-201.

Impaired recruitment of bone-marrow-derived endothelial and hematopoietic precursor cells blocks tumor angiogenesis and growth.

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Department of Pediatrics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA.


The role of bone marrow (BM)-derived precursor cells in tumor angiogenesis is not known. We demonstrate here that tumor angiogenesis is associated with recruitment of hematopoietic and circulating endothelial precursor cells (CEPs). We used the angiogenic defective, tumor resistant Id-mutant mice to show that transplantation of wild-type BM or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-mobilized stem cells restore tumor angiogenesis and growth. We detected donor-derived CEPs throughout the neovessels of tumors and Matrigel-plugs in an Id1+/-Id3-/- host, which were associated with VEGF-receptor-1-positive (VEGFR1+) myeloid cells. The angiogenic defect in Id-mutant mice was due to impaired VEGF-driven mobilization of VEGFR2+ CEPs and impaired proliferation and incorporation of VEGFR1+ cells. Although targeting of either VEGFR1 or VEGFR2 alone partially blocks the growth of tumors, inhibition of both VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 was necessary to completely ablate tumor growth. These data demonstrate that recruitment of VEGF-responsive BM-derived precursors is necessary and sufficient for tumor angiogenesis and suggest new clinical strategies to block tumor growth.

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