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Nat Med. 2002 Jan;8(1):27-34.

Enhanced pathological angiogenesis in mice lacking beta3 integrin or beta3 and beta5 integrins.

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Cell Adhesion and Disease Laboratory, Richard Dimbleby Department, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, UK.


Inhibition of alphavbeta3 or alphavbeta5 integrin function has been reported to suppress neovascularization and tumor growth, suggesting that these integrins are critical modulators of angiogenesis. Here we report that mice lacking beta3 integrins or both beta3 and beta5 integrins not only support tumorigenesis, but have enhanced tumor growth as well. Moreover, the tumors in these integrin-deficient mice display enhanced angiogenesis, strongly suggesting that neither beta3 nor beta5 integrins are essential for neovascularization. We also observed that angiogenic responses to hypoxia and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are augmented significantly in the absence of beta3 integrins. We found no evidence that the expression or functions of other integrins were altered as a consequence of the beta3 deficiency, but we did observe elevated levels of VEGF receptor-2 (also called Flk-1) in beta3-null endothelial cells. These data indicate that alphavbeta3 and alphavbeta5 integrins are not essential for vascular development or pathological angiogenesis and highlight the need for further evaluation of the mechanisms of action of alphav-integrin antagonists in anti-angiogenic therapeutics.

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