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Am J Pathol. 2011 Apr;178(4):1861-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2010.12.019. Epub 2011 Feb 26.

Netrin-4 delays colorectal cancer carcinomatosis by inhibiting tumor angiogenesis.

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INSERM U965 (Paris 7 University), Hôpital Lariboisière, Paris, France.


A close relationship between tumor angiogenesis, growth, and carcinomatosis has been observed. Netrin-4 (NT-4) has been shown to regulate angiogenic responses. We aimed to examine the effects of NT-4 on colon tumor angiogenesis, growth, and carcinomatosis. We showed that NT-4 was expressed in human colon cancer cells (LS174). A 20-fold increase in NT-4 expression was stably induced by NT-4 pcDNA in LS174 cells. In vivo, a Matrigel angiogenesis assay showed that NT-4 overexpression altered vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)/basic fibroblast growth factor-induced angiogenesis. In nude mice with LS174 xenografts, NT-4 overexpression inhibited tumor angiogenesis and growth. In addition, these NT-4-involved inhibitory effects were associated with decreased tumor cell proliferation and increased tumor cell apoptosis. Using an orthotopic peritoneal carcinomatosis model, we demonstrated that NT-4 overexpression decreased colorectal cancer carcinomatosis. Moreover, carcinomatosis-related ascites formation was significantly decreased in mice transplanted with NT-4 LS174 cells versus control LS174 cells. The antiangiogenic activity of NT-4 was probably mediated by binding to its receptor neogenin. Netrin-4 had a direct effect on neither in vitro apoptosis and proliferation of cultured LS174 cells nor the VEGF-induced acute increase in vascular permeability in vivo. We propose that NT-4 overexpression decreases tumor growth and carcinomatosis, probably via an antiangiogenic effect, underlying the potential therapeutic interest in NT-4 in the treatment of colorectal cancer growth and carcinomatosis.

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