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BMC Cancer. 2009 Oct 12;9:361. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-9-361.

Combination of interferon-alpha and 5-fluorouracil inhibits endothelial cell growth directly and by regulation of angiogenic factors released by tumor cells.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, 2-2 Yamadaoka E-2, Suita 565-0871 Osaka, Japan. hwada98@gesurg.med.osaka-u.ac.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The combination therapy of interferon (IFN)-alpha and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) improved the prognosis of the patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To determine the molecular mechanisms of the anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic effects, we examined the direct anti-proliferative effects on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and indirect effects by regulating secretion of angiogenic factors from HCC cells.

METHODS:

The direct effects on HUVEC were examined by TUNEL, Annexin-V assays and cell cycles analysis. For analysis of the indirect effects, the apoptosis induced by the conditioned medium from HCC cell treated by IFN-alpha/5-FU and expression of angiogenic factors was examined.

RESULTS:

IFN-alpha and 5-FU alone had anti-proliferative properties on HUVEC and their combination significantly inhibited the growth (compared with control, 5-FU or IFN alone). TUNEL and Annexin-V assays showed no apoptosis. Cell cycle analysis revealed that IFN-alpha and 5-FU delayed cell cycle progression in HUVEC with S-phase accumulation. The conditioned medium from HuH-7 cells after treatment with IFN/5-FU significantly inhibited HUVEC growth and induced apoptosis, and contained high levels of angiopoietin (Ang)-1 and low levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Ang-2. Knockdown of Ang-1 in HuH-7 cells abrogated the anti-proliferative effects on HUVEC while knockdown of Ang-2 partially rescue the cells.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggested that IFN-alpha and 5-FU had direct growth inhibitory effects on endothelial cells, as well as anti-angiogenic effects through regulation of angiogenic factors released from HCC cells. Modulation of VEGF and Angs secretion by IFN-alpha and 5-FU may contribute to their anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor effects on HCC.

PMID:
19821965
PMCID:
PMC2767355
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2407-9-361
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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