JOURNAL ARTICLE

Hypoxia-inducible factor-2α regulates GM-CSF-derived soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 production from macrophages and inhibits tumor growth and angiogenesis

Julie M Roda, Laura A Sumner, Randall Evans, Gary S Phillips, Clay B Marsh, Timothy D Eubank
Journal of Immunology 2011 August 15, 187 (4): 1970-6
21765015
Macrophage secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in response to the hypoxic tumor microenvironment contributes to tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis. We have recently demonstrated that macrophages stimulated with GM-CSF at low O(2) secrete high levels of a soluble form of the VEGF receptor 1 (sVEGFR-1), which neutralizes VEGF and inhibits its biological activity. Using small interfering RNA targeting to deplete hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α or HIF-2α in murine macrophages, we found that macrophage production of sVEGFR-1 in response to low O(2) was dependent on HIF-2α, whereas HIF-1α specifically regulated VEGF production. In our current report, we evaluated the growth of B16F10 malignant melanoma in mice with a monocyte/macrophage-selective deletion of HIF-1α or HIF-2α (HIF-1α(flox/flox)- or HIF-2α(flox/+)/LysMcre mice). GM-CSF treatment increased intratumoral VEGF and sVEGFR-1 in control mice, an effect that was associated with a decrease in microvessel density. GM-CSF treatment of HIF-1α(flox/flox)/LysMcre mice induced sVEGFR-1 but not VEGF, resulting in an overall greater reduction in tumor growth and angiogenesis compared with control mice. In addition, real-time PCR for melanoma-specific genes revealed a significantly reduced presence of lung micrometastases in HIF-1α(flox/flox)/LysMcre mice treated with GM-CSF. Conversely, GM-CSF treatment induced VEGF but not sVEGFR-1 in HIF-2α(flox/+)/LysMcre mice, and, correspondingly, GM-CSF did not decrease tumor growth, angiogenesis, or lung metastasis in these mice. This study reveals opposing roles for the HIFs in the regulation of angiogenesis by tumor-associated macrophages and suggests that administration of GM-CSF might be an effective means of inducing sVEGFR-1 and inhibiting tumor growth and angiogenesis in patients with melanoma.

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