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Am J Pathol. 1998 Oct;153(4):1239-48.

Host microvasculature influence on tumor vascular morphology and endothelial gene expression.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, USA.


We have previously demonstrated that vascular endothelial growth factor-165 (VEGF), a tumor-secreted angiogenic factor, can acutely and chronically induce fenestrations in microvascular endothelium (Cancer Res 1997, 57:765-772). Because the morphology and function of microvascular endothelium differs from tissue to tissue, we undertook studies to examine whether the neovasculature in tumors also differed depending upon tumor location. Four tumor types implanted in the brain or subcutis in nude mice were studied: a murine rhabdomyosarcoma (M1S), a murine mammary carcinoma (EMT), and two human glioblastomas (U87 and U251). In addition, we studied Chinese hamster ovary cells stably transfected with human VEGF165. As previously reported, tumors grown in the subcutaneous space had a microvasculature that was fenestrated and had open endothelial gaps. The identical tumors when grown in the brain also had fenestrated endothelium and vessels with open endothelial gaps, but they were drastically reduced in occurrence. Open endothelial gaps were not seen in all tumors implanted in the brain (EMT and M1S), although fenestrated endothelium was always seen. VEGF and VEGF receptors were measured in tumors from both locations by immunoblotting and competitive polymerase chain reaction, respectively. VEGF amount was not significantly different between the tumor locations. Interestingly, total tumor vascular mRNA expression of both Flk-1 and Flt-1 was greater in tumor vessels derived from the brain compared with tumor vessels derived from subcutaneous tissues. These results demonstrate that the host microvascular environment determines the morphology and function of the tumor vasculature and that endothelia from different tissues vary in their ability to express the VEGF receptors given identical stimuli.

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