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Int J Cancer. 2004 Mar 1;108(6):797-804.

Effects of adrenomedullin on endothelial cells in the multistep process of angiogenesis: involvement of CRLR/RAMP2 and CRLR/RAMP3 receptors.

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Laboratoire de Cancérologie Expérimentale, Inserm EMI 0359, Faculté de Médecine Secteur Nord, IFR Jean Roche, Boulevard Pierre Dramard, Marseille, France.


Recently, we demonstrated that U87 glioblastoma xenograft tumors treated with anti-adrenomedullin (AM) antibody were less vascularized than control tumors, suggesting that AM might be involved in neovascularization and/or vessel stabilization. Angiogenesis, the sprouting of new capillaries from preexisting blood vessels, is a multistep process that involves migration and proliferation of endothelial cells, remodeling of the extracellular matrix and functional maturation of the newly assembled vessels. In our study, we analyzed the role of AM on human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) phenotype related to different stages of angiogenesis. Here we report evidence that AM promoted HUVEC migration and invasion in a dose-dependent manner. The action of AM is specific and is mediated by the calcitonin receptor-like receptor/receptor activity-modifying protein-2 and -3 (CRLR/RAMP2; CRLR/RAMP3) receptors. Furthermore, AM was able to induce HUVEC differentiation into cord-like structures on Matrigel. Suboptimal concentrations of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and AM acted synergistically to induce angiogenic-related effects on endothelial cells in vitro. Blocking antibodies to VEGF did not significantly inhibit AM-induced capillary tube formation by human endothelial cells, indicating that AM does not function indirectly through upregulation of VEGF. These findings suggest that the proangiogenic action of AM on cultured endothelial cells via CRLR/RAMP2 and CRLR/RAMP3 receptors may translate in vivo into enhanced neovascularization and therefore identify AM and its receptors acting as potential new targets for antiangiogenic therapies.

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