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Blood. 2010 Jun 3;115(22):4605-13. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-09-242065. Epub 2010 Jan 19.

Platelet-derived thrombospondin-1 is a critical negative regulator and potential biomarker of angiogenesis.

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Department of Cancer Biology, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The sequential events leading to tumor progression include a switch to the angiogenic phenotype, dependent on a shift in the balance between positive and negative angiogenic regulators produced by tumor and stromal cells. Although the biologic properties of many angiogenesis regulatory proteins have been studied in detail, the mechanisms of their transport and delivery in vivo during pathologic angiogenesis are not well understood. Here, we demonstrate that expression of one of the most potent angiogenesis inhibitors, thrombospondin-1, is up-regulated in the platelets of tumor-bearing mice. We establish that this up-regulation is a consequence of both increased levels of thrombospondin-1 mRNA in megakaryocytes, as well as increased numbers of megakaryocytes in the bone marrow of tumor-bearing mice. Through the use of mouse tumor models and bone marrow transplantations, we show that platelet-derived thrombospondin-1 is a critical negative regulator during the early stages of tumor angiogenesis. Collectively, our data suggest that the production and delivery of the endogenous angiogenesis inhibitor thrombospondin-1 by platelets may be a critical host response to suppress tumor growth through inhibiting tumor angiogenesis. Further, this work implicates the use of thrombospondin-1 levels in platelets as an indicator of tumor growth and regression.

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