Suppression of tumor lymphangiogenesis and lymph node metastasis by blocking vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 signaling

Yulong He, Ken-Ichi Kozaki, Terhi Karpanen, Katsumi Koshikawa, Seppo Yla-Herttuala, Takashi Takahashi, Kari Alitalo
Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2002 June 5, 94 (11): 819-25

BACKGROUND: Vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) stimulates tumor lymphangiogenesis (i.e., formation of lymphatic vessels) and metastasis to regional lymph nodes by interacting with VEGF receptor 3 (VEGFR-3). We sought to determine whether inhibiting VEGFR-3 signaling, and thus tumor lymphangiogenesis, would inhibit tumor metastasis.

METHODS: We used the highly metastatic human lung cancer cell line NCI-H460-LNM35 (LNM35) and its parental line NCI-H460-N15 (N15) with low metastatic capacity. We inserted genes by transfection and established a stable N15 cell line secreting VEGF-C and a LNM35 cell line secreting the soluble fusion protein VEGF receptor 3-immunoglobulin (VEGFR-3-Ig, which binds VEGF-C and inhibits VEGFR-3 signaling). Control lines were transfected with mock vectors. Tumor cells were implanted subcutaneously into severe combined immunodeficient mice (n = 6 in each group), and tumors and metastases were examined 6 weeks later. In another approach, recombinant adenoviruses expressing VEGFR-3-Ig (AdR3-Ig) or beta-galactosidase (AdLacZ) were injected intravenously into LNM35 tumor-bearing mice (n = 14 and 7, respectively).

RESULTS: LNM35 cells expressed higher levels of VEGF-C RNA and protein than did N15 cells. Xenograft mock vector-transfected LNM35 tumors showed more intratumoral lymphatic vessels (15.3 vessels per grid; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 13.3 to 17.4) and more metastases in draining lymph nodes (12 of 12) than VEGFR-3-Ig-transfected LNM35 tumors (4.1 vessels per grid; 95% CI = 3.4 to 4.7; P<.001, two-sided t test; and four lymph nodes with metastases of 12 lymph nodes examined). Lymph node metastasis was also inhibited in AdR3-Ig-treated mice (AdR3-Ig = 0 of 28 lymph nodes; AdLacZ = 11 of 14 lymph nodes). However, metastasis to the lungs occurred in all mice, suggesting that LNM35 cells can also spread via other mechanisms. N15 tumors overexpressing VEGF-C contained more lymphatic vessels than vector-transfected tumors but did not have increased metastatic ability.

CONCLUSIONS: Lymph node metastasis appears to be regulated by additional factors besides VEGF-C. Inhibition of VEGFR-3 signaling can suppress tumor lymphangiogenesis and metastasis to regional lymph nodes but not to lungs.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"