Yulong He

Soochow University (PRC), Wu-hsien, Jiangsu Sheng, China

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Publications (19)164.1 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The genetic program underlying lymphatic development is still incompletely understood. This study aims to dissect the role of receptor tyrosine kinase with immunoglobulin-like and EGF-like domains 1 (Tie1) and Tie2 in lymphatic formation using genetically modified mouse models. We generated conditional knockout mouse models targeting Tie1, Tie2, and angiopoietin-2 in this study. Tie1(ΔICD/ΔICD) mice, with its intracellular domain targeted, appeared normal at E10.5 but displayed subcutaneous edema by E13.5. Lymph sac formation occurred in Tie1(ΔICD/ΔICD) mice, but they had defects with the remodeling of primary lymphatic network to form collecting vessels and valvulogenesis. Consistently, induced deletion of Tie1 intracellular domain postnatally using a ubiquitous Cre deleter led to abnormal lymphangiogenesis and valve formation in Tie1-ICD(iUCKO/-) mice. In comparison with the lymphatic phenotype of Tie1 mutants, we found that the diameter of lymphatic capillaries was significantly less in mice deficient of angiopoietin-2, besides the disruption of collecting lymphatic vessel formation as previously reported. There was also no lymphedema observed in Ang2(-/-) mice during embryonic development, which differs from that of Tie1(ΔICD/ΔICD) mice. We further investigated whether Tie1 exerted its function via Tie2 during lymphatic development. To our surprise, genetic deletion of Tie2 (Tie2(iUCKO/-)) in neonate mice did not affect lymphatic vessel growth and maturation. In contrast to the important role of Tie2 in the regulation of blood vascular development, Tie1 is crucial in the process of lymphatic remodeling and maturation, which is independent of Tie2.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 04/2014; · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are critical in mediating innate immune responses against infections. However, uncontrolled TLR-triggered inflammation is associated with endotoxin shock. To better understand the homeostatic mechanisms induced by TLR4 signaling, we screened a group of key cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, and their receptors for bacteria- or LPS-induced expression. The surface vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 (VEGFR-3) and its ligand VEGF-C were upregulated in macrophages. VEGFR-3 ligation by VEGF-C significantly attenuated proinflammatory cytokine production. Notably, ablation of the ligand-binding domain or tyrosine kinase activity of VEGFR-3 rendered mice more sensitive to septic shock. VEGFR-3 restrained TLR4-NF-κB activation by regulating the PI3-kinase-Akt signaling pathway and SOCS1 expression. Aside from targeting lymphatic vessels, we suggest a key role of VEGFR-3 on macrophages to prevent infections that is complicated with lymphoedema. Thus, VEGFR-3-VEGF-C signaling represents a "self-control" mechanism during antibacterial innate immunity.
    Immunity 03/2014; · 19.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Regulated endothelial exocytosis of Weibel-Palade bodies (WPBs), the first stage in leukocyte trafficking, plays a pivotal role in inflammation and injury. Acute mechanical stretch has been closely associated with vascular inflammation, although the precise mechanism is unknown. Here, we show that hypertensive stretch regulates the exocytosis of WPBs of endothelial cells (ECs) through VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) signaling pathways. Stretch triggers a rapid release (within minutes) of von Willebrand factor and interleukin-8 from WPBs in cultured human ECs, promoting the interaction between leukocytes and ECs through the translocation of P-selectin to the cell membrane. We further show that hypertensive stretch significantly induces P-selectin translocation of intact ECs and enhances leukocyte adhesion both ex vivo and in vivo. Stretch-induced endothelial exocytosis is mediated via a VEGFR2/PLCγ1/calcium pathway. Interestingly, stretch also induces a negative feedback via a VEGFR2/Akt/nitric oxide pathway. Such dual effects are confirmed using pharmacological and genetic approaches in carotid artery segments, as well as in acute hypertensive mouse models. These studies reveal mechanical stretch as a potent agonist for endothelial exocytosis, which is modulated by VEGFR2 signaling. Thus, VEGFR2 signaling pathways may represent novel therapeutic targets in limiting hypertensive stretch-related inflammation.Cell Research advance online publication 23 April 2013; doi:10.1038/cr.2013.56.
    Cell Research 04/2013; · 10.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A rapid progress has been made in the field of lymphatic research during the last 15 years. This includes better understanding of the cellular events and molecular players involved in the lymphatic vessel formation and remodeling in development. The key players identified in developmental lymphangiogenesis, including vascular endothelial cell growth factor-C (VEGF-C) / VEGFR-3 and angiopoietins (ANGPTs)/ TIE pathways, are also crucial for pathological lymphatic vessel growth. In solid tumor, tumor cells as well as tumor-associated stromal cells, such as tumor-infiltrating leukocytes, contribute to intra- and peri-tumoral lymphangiogenesis via secreting lymphangiogenic growth factors. Tumor-associated lymphatic endothelial cells also interact actively with tumor cells and leukocytes via secreting various chemokines. It has been well established that tumor lymphangiogenesis promotes tumor cell dissemination to regional lymph nodes. Thus manipulation of lymphangiogenic microenvironment could become another valuable approach in the combat of tumor progression.
    Cancer Microenvironment 08/2012; 5(3):249-60.
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant brain tumors are characterized by extensive infiltration into the normal brain tissue. Tumor migration is a complicated process which results from the interplay of a number of mechanisms, and the extent to which anatomic structure determined the migration pattern has not been extensively addressed. In the present study, we labeled C6 glioma cells with iron oxide nanoparticles and monitored the fate of the cells in vivo with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). C6 glioma cells were labeled with ferumoxide-poly-L-lysine complexes and their migration in the brains of rats tracked by T2-weighted MRI. The same amount of iron-laden cells were implanted into the caudate nucleus (CN) and at the vicinity of anterior commissure (AC), respectively, and MRI was performed during the course of 20-day monitoring period to track tumor growth and migration. A clear tendency of tumor migration along the white matter fiber tracts was observed in the AC group, which is consistent with the previous reports; by contrast, tumor expanded to but remained confined within the boundary of right hemisphere in the CN group. We successfully demonstrated the ability of MRI to investigate the impact of anatomical structure on the glioma migration pathway in vivo.
    Molecular imaging and biology: MIB: the official publication of the Academy of Molecular Imaging 08/2011; 13(4):695-701. · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lymphangiogenesis in tumor-draining lymph nodes (LNs) starts before the onset of metastasis and is associated with metastasis to distant LNs and organs. In this study, we aimed to visualize tumor-induced lymphangiogenesis with a tumor lymphatics-specific peptide LyP-1. The LyP-1 peptide was labeled with a near-infrared fluorophore (Cy5.5) for optical imaging. At days 3, 7, 14 and 21 after subcutaneous 4T1 tumor inoculation, Cy5.5-LyP-1 was administered through the middle phalanges of the upper extremities of the tumor-bearing mice. At 45 min and 24 h postinjection, brachial LN fluorescence imaging was performed. Ex vivo fluorescence images were acquired for quantitative analysis of the fluorescence intensity. Tumor-induced lymphangiogenesis was confirmed by LYVE-1 immunostaining and increased size of tumor side brachial LNs. Cy5.5-LyP-1 staining in LNs co-localized with LYVE-1, suggesting lymphatics-specific binding of LyP-1 peptide. The brachial LNs were clearly visualized by optical imaging at both time points. The tumor side LNs showed significantly higher fluorescence intensities than the contralateral brachial LNs at days 7, 14, and 21, but not day 3 after tumor inoculation. At day 21 after tumor inoculation, the average signal of tumor-draining LNs was 78.0±2.44, 24.3±5.43, 25.6±0.25 (×10(3) photon/cm2/s) using Cy5.5-LyP-1, Cy5.5-LyP-1 with blocking, and Cy5.5 only, respectively. Tumor-draining brachial LNs showed extensive growth of lymphatic sinuses throughout the cortex and medulla. Use of LyP-1 based imaging probes with optical imaging offers a useful tool for the study of tumor-induced lymphangiogenesis. LyP-1 may serve as a marker of lymphangiogenesis useful in detecting "high risk" LNs before tumor metastasis and after micro-metastasis, as well as for screening potential anti-lymphatic therapies.
    Amino Acids 07/2011; 42(6):2343-51. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The intracellular signaling mechanisms underlying postnatal angiogenesis are incompletely understood. Herein we show that Grb-2-associated binder 1 (Gab1) plays a critical role in ischemic and VEGF-induced angiogenesis. Endothelium-specific Gab1 KO (EGKO) mice displayed impaired angiogenesis in the ischemic hindlimb despite normal induction of VEGF expression. Matrigel plugs with VEGF implanted in EGKO mice induced fewer capillaries than those in control mice. The vessels and endothelial cells (ECs) derived from EGKO mice were defective in vascular sprouting and tube formation induced by VEGF. Biochemical analyses revealed a substantial reduction of endothelial NOS (eNOS) activation in Gab1-deficient vessels and ECs following VEGF stimulation. Interestingly, the phosphorylation of Akt, an enzyme known to promote VEGF-induced eNOS activation, was increased in Gab1-deficient vessels and ECs whereas protein kinase A (PKA) activity was significantly decreased. Introduction of an active form of PKA rescued VEGF-induced eNOS activation and tube formation in EGKO ECs. Reexpression of WT or mutant Gab1 molecules in EGKO ECs revealed requirement of Gab1/Shp2 association for the activation of PKA and eNOS. Taken together, these results identify Gab1 as a critical upstream signaling component in VEGF-induced eNOS activation and tube formation, which is dependent on PKA. Of note, this pathway is conserved in primary human ECs for VEGF-induced eNOS activation and tube formation, suggesting considerable potential in treatment of human ischemic diseases.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2011; 108(7):2957-62. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although VEGFR-3 deficiency disrupts blood vascular development during early embryogenesis, the underlying mechanism was not clear. To characterize its function in angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, we employed two genetically modified mouse models in this study, targeting the coding region for the ligand-binding domain (Vegfr3(ΔLBD)) or the tyrosine kinase domain with an inactivation point mutation (Vegfr3(TKmut)). We show that lymphatic growth was disrupted in Vegfr3(ΔLBD/ΔLBD) and Vegfr3(TKmut/TKmut) mice, but blood vessels developed normally in both embryo and yolk sac. Interestingly, in Vegfr3(ΔLBD/ΔLBD) but not Vegfr3(TKmut/TKmut) mice, lymph sac was present but there was lack of lymphangiogenic sprouting. We further demonstrate that both the wild-type and mutant forms of VEGFR-3 could form heterodimers with VEGFR-2, and decreased the level of phospho-VEGFR-2 and the downstream phospho-Erk1/2 in endothelial cells when they were treated with VEGF-A. These findings indicate that signaling mediated via VEGFR-3 activation by its cognate ligands (VEGF-C/-D) is not required for angiogenesis, and that VEGFR-3 may play a role in this process by modulating VEGFR-2-mediated signals.
    Cell Research 12/2010; 20(12):1319-31. · 10.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Akt-mediated signaling plays an important role in blood vascular development. In this study, we investigated the role of Akt in lymphatic growth using Akt-deficient mice. First, we found that lymphangiogenesis occurred in Akt1(-/-), Akt2(-/-), and Akt3(-/-) mice. However, both the diameter and endothelial cell number of lymphatic capillaries were significantly less in Akt1(-/-) mice than in wild-type control mice, whereas there was only a slight change in Akt2(-/-) and Akt3(-/-) mice. Second, valves present in the small collecting lymphatics in the superficial dermal layer of the ear skin were rarely observed in Akt1(-/-) mice, although these valves could be detected in the large collecting lymphatics in the deep layer of the skin tissues. A fluorescence microlymphangiography assay showed that the skin lymphatic network in Akt1(-/-) mice was functional but abnormal as shown by fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran draining. There was an uncharacteristic enlargement of collecting lymphatic vessels, and further analysis showed that smooth muscle cell coverage of collecting lymphatic vessels became much more sparse in Akt1-deficient mice than in wild-type control animals. Finally, we showed that lymphatic vessels were detected in compound Akt-null mice and that lymphangiogenesis could be induced by vascular endothelial growth factor-C delivered via adenoviral vectors in adult mice lacking Akt1. These results indicate that despite the compensatory roles of other Akt isoforms, Akt1 is more critically required during lymphatic development.
    American Journal Of Pathology 10/2010; 177(4):2124-33. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The angiopoietin-1 (Ang1)/Tie2 signaling pathway is known to play an important role in the regulation of vascular maturation and maintenance of vessel integrity. In this study, we have investigated the effect of systemic Tie2 activation or inhibition on tumor growth and metastasis. We found that treatment with Ang1 delivered via an adenoviral vector promoted s.c. implanted tumor metastasis to the lungs. Ang1 treatment did not significantly increase vascular density in the tumors but induced enlargement of blood vessels in both the tumor and normal tissues, which increased tumor cell dissemination into the blood circulation. Ang1 also enhanced the formation of metastatic foci in the lungs when tumor cells were injected into the circulation via the tail vein. The effect of Ang1 on metastasis was validated by a simultaneous treatment with a soluble form of Tie2 (sTie2), which led to the suppression of Ang1-induced increase of tumor metastasis. Furthermore, using a highly metastatic tumor model, we confirmed that systemic treatment with sTie2 suppressed tumor metastasis to the lungs and lymph nodes, whereas tumor-associated angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis were not significantly affected. This suggests that the Ang1/Tie2 signals contribute to tumor progression by increasing vascular entry and exit of tumor cells to facilitate tumor dissemination and establishment of metastases.
    Cancer Research 07/2009; 69(11):4656-64. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lymphatic vessel growth, or lymphangiogenesis, is regulated by vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) and -D via VEGF receptor 3 (VEGFR-3). Recent studies suggest that VEGF, which does not bind to VEGFR-3, can also induce lymphangiogenesis through unknown mechanisms. To dissect the receptor pathway that triggers VEGFR-3-independent lymphangiogenesis, we used both transgenic and adenoviral overexpression of placenta growth factor (PlGF) and VEGF-E, which are specific activators of VEGFR-1 and -2, respectively. Unlike PlGF, VEGF-E induced circumferential lymphatic vessel hyperplasia, but essentially no new vessel sprouting, when transduced into mouse skin via adenoviral vectors. This effect was not inhibited by blocking VEGF-C and -D. Postnatal lymphatic hyperplasia, without increased density of lymphatic vessels, was also detected in transgenic mice expressing VEGF-E in the skin, but not in mice expressing PlGF. Surprisingly, VEGF-E induced lymphatic hyperplasia postnatally, and it did not rescue the loss of lymphatic vessels in transgenic embryos where VEGF-C and VEGF-D were blocked. Our data suggests that VEGFR-2 signals promote lymphatic vessel enlargement, but unlike in the blood vessels, are not involved in vessel sprouting to generate new lymphatic vessels in vivo.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 07/2007; 204(6):1431-40. · 13.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C and VEGF-D are composed of the receptor-binding VEGF homology domain and a carboxy-terminal silk homology domain that requires proteolytic cleavage for growth factor activation. Here, we explored whether the C-terminal heparin-binding domain of the VEGF(165) or VEGF(189) isoform also containing neuropilin-binding sequences could substitute for the silk homology domain of VEGF-C. Such VEGF-C/VEGF-heparin-binding domain chimeras were produced and shown to activate VEGF-C receptors, and, when expressed in tissues via adenovirus or adeno-associated virus vectors, stimulated lymphangiogenesis in vivo. However, both chimeras induced a distinctly different pattern of lymphatic vessels when compared with VEGF-C. Whereas VEGF-C-induced vessels were initially a dense network of small diameter vessels, the lymphatic vessels induced by the chimeric growth factors tended to form directly along tissue borders, along basement membranes that are rich in heparan sulfate. For example, in skeletal muscle, the chimeras induced formation of lumenized lymphatic vessels more efficiently than wild-type VEGF-C. We conclude that the matrix-binding domain of VEGF can target VEGF-C activity to heparin-rich basement membrane structures. These properties may prove useful for tissue engineering and attempts to regenerate lymphatic vessels in lymphedema patients.
    Circulation Research 06/2007; 100(10):1468-75. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The presence of metastases in regional lymph nodes is a strong indicator of poor patient survival in many types of cancer. It has recently been shown that the lymphangiogenic growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C), and its receptor, VEGF receptor-3 (VEGFR3), may play a pivotal role in the promotion of metastasis to regional lymph nodes. In this study, human prostate and melanoma tumor models that preferentially metastasize to the lymph nodes following s.c. tumor cell implantation were established from lymph node metastases via in vivo selection. Melanoma tumor cell sublines established from lymph node metastasis express higher amounts of VEGF-C than the parental tumor cells. The inhibition of tumor-derived VEGF-C with a soluble VEGFR3 decoy receptor, sVEGFR3-Fc, expressed via a recombinant adeno-associated viral vector, potently blocks tumor-associated lymphangiogenesis and tumor metastasis to the lymph nodes, when the treatment was initiated before the tumor implantation. In addition, sVEGFR3-Fc serum levels required for efficient blockade of lymph node metastases are strictly dependent on the VEGF-C levels generated by the primary tumor. Recombinant adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer of sVEGFR3-Fc may represent a feasible therapeutic strategy for blockade of lymphogenous metastasis.
    Cancer Research 09/2005; 65(15):6901-9. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lymphangiogenic growth factors vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C and VEGF-D have been shown to promote lymphatic metastasis by inducing tumor-associated lymphangiogenesis. In this study, we have investigated how tumor cells gain access into lymphatic vessels and at what stage tumor cells initiate metastasis. We show that VEGF-C produced by tumor cells induced extensive lymphatic sprouting towards the tumor cells as well as dilation of the draining lymphatic vessels, suggesting an active role of lymphatic endothelial cells in lymphatic metastasis. A significant increase in lymphatic vessel growth occurred between 2 and 3 weeks after tumor xenotransplantation, and lymph node metastasis occurred at the same stage. These processes were blocked dose-dependently by inhibition of VEGF receptor 3 (VEGFR-3) signaling by systemic delivery of a soluble VEGFR-3-immunoglobulin (Ig) fusion protein via adenoviral or adeno-associated viral vectors. However, VEGFR-3-Ig did not suppress lymph node metastasis when the treatment was started at a later stage after the tumor cells had already spread out, suggesting that tumor cell entry into lymphatic vessels is a key step during tumor dissemination via the lymphatics. Whereas lymphangiogenesis and lymph node metastasis were significantly inhibited by VEGFR-3-Ig, some tumor cells were still detected in the lymph nodes in some of the treated mice. This indicates that complete blockade of lymphatic metastasis may require the targeting of both tumor lymphangiogenesis and tumor cell invasion.
    Cancer Research 07/2005; 65(11):4739-46. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Platelet-derived growth factor-D (PDGF-D) is a recently characterized member of the PDGF family with unknown in vivo functions. We investigated the effects of PDGF-D in transgenic mice by expressing it in basal epidermal cells and then analyzed skin histology, interstitial fluid pressure, and wound healing. When compared with control mice, PDGF-D transgenic mice displayed increased numbers of macrophages and elevated interstitial fluid pressure in the dermis. Wound healing in the transgenic mice was characterized by increased cell density and enhanced recruitment of macrophages. Macrophage recruitment was also the characteristic response when PDGF-D was expressed in skeletal muscle or ear by an adeno-associated virus vector. Combined expression of PDGF-D with vascular endothelial growth factor-E (VEGF-E) led to increased pericyte/smooth muscle cell coating of the VEGF-E-induced vessels and inhibition of the vascular leakiness that accompanies VEGF-E-induced angiogenesis. These results show that full-length PDGF-D is activated in tissues and is capable of increasing interstitial fluid pressure and macrophage recruitment and the maturation of blood vessels in angiogenic processes.
    Blood 12/2004; 104(10):3198-204. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelial progenitor cells have been shown to contribute to angiogenesis in various tumor models. Here, we have studied the relative contributions of bone marrow (BM)-derived endothelial progenitors and pre-existing lymphatic vessels to tumor lymphangiogenesis. We did not find significant incorporation of genetically marked BM-derived cells in lymphatic vessels during tumor- or vascular endothelial growth factor C-induced lymphangiogenesis. The degree of tumor lymphangiogenesis correlated with lymphatic vessel density in the peritumoral area, and despite tumor lymphangiogenesis, lymphatic metastasis failed to occur in gene-targeted vascular endothelial growth factor C(+/-) mice that have hypoplasia of the lymphatic network. Our data demonstrate that during tumor lymphangiogenesis and cancer cell dissemination via the lymphatics, the newly formed lymphatic vessels sprout from the pre-existing local lymphatic network with little if any incorporation of BM-derived endothelial progenitor cells.
    Cancer Research 07/2004; 64(11):3737-40. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nearly four centuries after the discovery of lymphatic vessels, the molecular mechanisms underlying their development are beginning to be elucidated. Vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) and VEGF-D, via signaling through VEGFR-3, appear to be essential for lymphatic vessel growth. Observations from clinicopathological studies have suggested that lymphatic vessels serve as the primary route for the metastatic spread of tumor cells to regional lymph nodes. Recent studies in animal models have provided convincing evidence that tumor lymphangiogenesis facilitates lymphatic metastasis. However, it is not clear how tumor-associated lymphangiogenesis is regulated, and little is known about how tumor cells escape from the primary tumor and gain entry into the lymphatics. This review examines some of these issues and provides a brief summary of the recent developments in this field of research.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 04/2004; 1654(1):3-12. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The metastatic spread of tumor cells represents a critical point in tumor progression. The presence of metastases in regional lymph nodes is a strong indicator of poor patient survival in many types of cancer. Production of the lymphangiogenic factor, vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C), has been detected in tumors and the significance of VEGF-C mediated lymphangiogenesis for tumors has been demonstrated. VEGF-C stimulates tumor lymphangiogenesis and metastasis to regional lymph nodes by binding to VEGF receptor 3 (VEGFR3). A number of studies have demonstrated that blocking VEGFR3 signaling suppresses tumor lymphangiogenesis and lymph node metastasis. In this study, we investigated whether AAV-mediated gene delivery of a soluble VEGFR3 fusion protein, sVEGFR3-Fc, inhibits development of lymph node metastases in prostate (PC-3mlg2) and melanoma (A375mln1) tumor models. Tumor cell lines were established from lymph node metastases of mice bearing PC-3 and A375 subcutaneous tumors, respectively. These tumor cell lines were transduced with the luciferase gene enabling the detection of lymphatic and systemic metastases by luminescence imaging. A single injection of AAV-sVEGFR3-Fc inhibited tumor cell metastasis to the regional lymph nodes. The inhibition was approximately 70% in PC-3mlg2 and A375mln1 models, as evident by the reduced number of tumor-bearing lymph nodes when compared with the animals injected with an AAV null vector. We are currently performing dose response studies in both tumor models to determine the optimum VEGFR3 serum levels required for efficient block of lymphogenic metastasis.These findings demonstrate that AAV-mediated gene delivery of sVEGFR3-Fc inhibits development of lymph node metastases in tumor bearing animals. This study suggests that gene therapy using AAV-mediated sVEGFR3 gene transfer might be a feasible strategy for the prevention or treatment of lymphogenous metastasis.
    Molecular Therapy 01/2004; 9. · 7.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 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. 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). 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. 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.
    JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 06/2002; 94(11):819-25. · 14.34 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
164.10 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012–2014
    • Soochow University (PRC)
      • Laboratory of Molecular Biology
      Wu-hsien, Jiangsu Sheng, China
  • 2010–2011
    • Nanjing University
      Nan-ching, Jiangsu Sheng, China
  • 2002–2009
    • University of Helsinki
      • Molecular/Cancer Biology Laboratory
      Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland