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PLoS One. 2013 Oct 9;8(10):e77675. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077675. eCollection 2013.

Rapid in vitro derivation of endothelium directly from human cancer cells.

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1
Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Abstract

The development of an independent blood supply by a tumor is essential for maintaining growth beyond a certain limited size and for providing a portal for metastatic dissemination. Host-derived endothelial cells (ECs) residing in and compromising the tumor vasculature originate via distinct processes known as sprouting angiogenesis and vasculogenesis. More recently ECs originating directly from the tumor cells themselves have been described although the basis for this phenomenon remains poorly understood. Here we describe in vitro conditions that allow lung and ovarian cancer cells to undergo a rapid and efficient transition into ECs that are indistinguishable from those obtained in vivo. A variety of methods were used to establish that the acquired phenotypes and behaviors of these tumor-derived ECs (TDECs) closely resemble those of authentic ECs. Xenografts arising from co-inoculated in vitro-derived TDECs and tumor cells were also more highly vascularized than control tumors; moreover, their blood vessels were on average larger and frequently contained admixtures of host-derived ECs and TDECs derived from the initial inoculum. These results demonstrate that cancer cells can be manipulated under well-defined in vitro conditions to initiate a tumor cell-to-EC transition that is largely cell-autonomous, highly efficient and closely mimics the in vivo process. These studies provide a suitable means by which to identify and perhaps modify the earliest steps in TDEC generation.

PMID:
24130897
PMCID:
PMC3793940
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0077675
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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