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Br J Cancer. 2006 Jun 19;94(12):1845-52. Epub 2006 May 23.

Angiogenesis in a human neuroblastoma xenograft model: mechanisms and inhibition by tumour-derived interferon-gamma.

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Department of Human Anatomy and Histology, University of Bari Medical School, Italy.


Tumour progression in neuroblastoma (NB) patients correlates with high vascular index. We have previously shown that the ACN NB cell line is tumorigenic and angiogenic in immunodeficient mice, and that interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) gene transfer dampens ACN tumorigenicity. As IFN-gamma represses lymphocyte-induced tumour angiogenesis in various murine models and inhibits proliferation and migration of human endothelial cells, we have investigated the antiangiogenic activity of tumour-derived IFN-gamma and the underlying mechanism(s). In addition, we characterised the tumour vasculature of the ACN xenografts, using the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane assay. We show that the ACN/IFN-gamma xenografts had a lower microvessel density and less in vivo angiogenic potential than the vector-transfected ACN/neo. The vascular channels of both xenografts were formed by a mixed endothelial cell population of murine and human origin, as assessed by the FICTION (fluorescence immunophenotyping and interphase cytogenetics) technique. With respect to ACN/neo, the ACN/IFN-gamma xenografts showed more terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labelling-positive human and murine endothelial cells, suggesting that inhibition of angiogenesis by IFN-gamma was dependent on the induction of apoptosis, likely mediated by nitric oxide. Once the dual origin of tumour vasculature is confirmed in NB patients, the xenograft model described here will prove useful in testing the efficacy of different antiangiogenic compounds.

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