Importance of local hypoxia on endothelial phenotype for an in vitro approach to bone marrow angiogenesis.
ABSTRACT The vasculature of bone marrow differs from that in other organs, and its characteristics should be considered when exploring the medullar angiogenesis associated with hematological malignancies. We show here that the human bone marrow sinusoidal cell line HBME-1 has a specific expression pattern of angiogenic factors and receptors, characterized by a unique VEGFR3(+), Tie2(-) signature, that resembles the in vivo pattern. Moreover, the HBME-1 cultured for up to 3 days in hypoxic conditions, similar to those found in the bone marrow, specifically downregulated expression of VEGFR1, VEGFR2 and ETAR. Thus, a model using bone marrow sinusoidal cells cultured under reduced oxygen tension may be more relevant than classical in vitro endothelial cultures for understanding the interactions between endothelial and malignant cells in the medullar microenvironment.