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Cancer Res. 2004 Aug 15;64(16):5535-8.

Dendritic cell subsets differentially regulate angiogenesis in human ovarian cancer.

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  • 1Tulane University Health Science Center, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.


Angiogenesis is essential for both primary and metastatic tumor growth. Tumor blood vessel formation is complex and regulated by many factors. Ovarian carcinomas have a poor prognosis, often associated with multifocal intraperitoneal dissemination accompanied by intense neovascularization. To examine tumor angiogenesis in the tumor microenvironment, we studied malignant ascites of patients with untreated ovarian carcinoma. We observed high numbers of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDCs) and significant stromal-derived factor (CXCL-12/SDF)-1 in their malignant ascites, attracting PDCs into the tumor environment. We now show that tumor-associated PDCs induced angiogenesis in vivo through production of tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 8. By contrast, myeloid dendritic cells (MDCs) were absent from malignant ascites. MDCs derived in vitro suppressed angiogenesis in vivo through production of interleukin 12. Thus, the tumor may attract PDCs to augment angiogenesis while excluding MDCs to prevent angiogenesis inhibition, demonstrating a novel mechanism for modulating tumor neovascularization. Because dendritic cells (DCs) have long been known to affect tumor immunity, our data also implicate DCs in regulation of tumor neoangiogenesis, suggesting a novel role of DCs in tumor pathology.

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