Hypoxia-stimulated vascular endothelial growth factor production in human nasal polyp fibroblasts: effect of epigallocatechin-3-gallate on hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha synthesis

Sze-Kwan Lin, Chia-Tung Shun, Sang-Heng Kok, Chih-Chiang Wang, Tzu-Yu Hsiao, Chia-Ming Liu
Archives of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery 2008, 134 (5): 522-7

OBJECTIVE: To verify the inhibitory effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) on the synthesis of hypoxia-induced vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in nasal polyp fibroblasts (NPFs).

DESIGN: Eight primary cultures of NPFs were established from nasal polyps. Effects of EGCG on the production of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1 alpha (the most potent VEGF stimulant) and VEGF by NPFs under hypoxic conditions were measured by Western blot analysis. Immunohistochemical staining was used to examine the in vivo expressions of HIF-1 alpha and VEGF in 20 sections of nasal polyps.

RESULTS: Western blot analysis showed that cobalt chloride induced HIF-1 alpha and VEGF synthesis in NPFs in a time-dependent manner, reaching a plateau at 4 and 8 hours, respectively, following treatment. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate attenuated the level of HIF-1 alpha induced by cobalt chloride and also reduced cobalt chloride-stimulated VEGF production by suppressing HIF-1 alpha synthesis. Furthermore, oligomycin (a specific HIF-1 alpha inhibitor) combined with EGCG resulted in a more profound inhibition of VEGF synthesis compared with oligomycin or EGCG treatment alone. Nevertheless, the synergistic effect seemed smaller than the sum of their individual actions. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed the presence of HIF-1 alpha and VEGF in NPFs and mononuclear round cells. Intimate alignment of VEGF-positive fibroblasts and proliferating small capillaries was frequently found.

CONCLUSIONS: Nasal polyp fibroblasts contribute to the pathogenesis of nasal polyps by producing VEGF to promote angiogenesis under hypoxic conditions. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate substantially diminishes HIF-1 alpha and VEGF synthesis in NPFs.

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