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VEGF-C induced lymphangiogenesis is associated with lymph node metastasis in orthotopic MCF-7 tumors

Mattila, Mirjami M-T; Ruohola, Johanna K.; Karpanen, Terhi; Jackson, David G.; Alitalo, Kari and Härkönen, Pirkko LU (2002) In International Journal of Cancer 98(6). p.946-951
Abstract
The spread of cancer cells to regional lymph nodes through the lymphatic system is the first step in the dissemination of breast cancer. In several human cancers including those of the breast and prostate, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) is associated with lymph node metastasis. Our study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of VEGF-C on metastasis of poorly invasive, estrogen dependent human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. MCF-7 breast cancer cells transfected with VEGF-C (MCF-7-VEGF-C) were grown as tumors in the mammary fat pads of nude mice implanted with subcutaneous estrogen pellets. Tumor lymphangiogenesis and lymph node metastasis were studied immunohistochemically using antibodies against lymphatic... (More)
The spread of cancer cells to regional lymph nodes through the lymphatic system is the first step in the dissemination of breast cancer. In several human cancers including those of the breast and prostate, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) is associated with lymph node metastasis. Our study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of VEGF-C on metastasis of poorly invasive, estrogen dependent human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. MCF-7 breast cancer cells transfected with VEGF-C (MCF-7-VEGF-C) were grown as tumors in the mammary fat pads of nude mice implanted with subcutaneous estrogen pellets. Tumor lymphangiogenesis and lymph node metastasis were studied immunohistochemically using antibodies against lymphatic vessel hyaluronan receptor -1 (LYVE-1), VEGF receptor-3 (VEGFR-3), PECAM-1, pan-cytokeratin and estrogen dependent pS2 protein. Overexpression of VEGF-C in transfected MCF-7 cells stimulated in vivo tumor growth in xenotransplanted mice without affecting estrogen responsiveness. The resulting tumors metastasized to the regional lymph nodes in 75% (in 6 mice out of 8, Experiment I) and in 62% (in 5 mice out of 8, Experiment II) of mice bearing orthotopic tumors formed by MCF-7-VEGF-C cells whereas no metastases were observed in mice bearing tumors of control vector-transfected MCF-7 cells (MCF-7-Mock). The density of intratumoral and peritumoral lymphatic vessels was increased in tumors derived from MCF-7-VEGF-C cells but not MCF-7-Mock cells. Taken together, our results show that VEGF-C overexpression stimulates tumor lymphangiogenesis and induces normally poorly metastatic estrogen-dependent MCF-7 tumors to disseminate to local lymph nodes. These data suggest that VEGF-C has an important role in lymph node metastasis of breast cancer even at its hormone-dependent early stage. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
lymph node metastasis, lymphangiogenesis, VEGF-C, breast cancer
in
International Journal of Cancer
volume
98
issue
6
pages
946 - 951
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • scopus:0037140120
ISSN
0020-7136
DOI
10.1002/ijc.10283
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ee7c9434-0242-4d97-84ef-95212d200db9 (old id 1124933)
date added to LUP
2008-05-27 13:11:47
date last changed
2017-11-05 03:47:21
@article{ee7c9434-0242-4d97-84ef-95212d200db9,
  abstract     = {The spread of cancer cells to regional lymph nodes through the lymphatic system is the first step in the dissemination of breast cancer. In several human cancers including those of the breast and prostate, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) is associated with lymph node metastasis. Our study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of VEGF-C on metastasis of poorly invasive, estrogen dependent human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. MCF-7 breast cancer cells transfected with VEGF-C (MCF-7-VEGF-C) were grown as tumors in the mammary fat pads of nude mice implanted with subcutaneous estrogen pellets. Tumor lymphangiogenesis and lymph node metastasis were studied immunohistochemically using antibodies against lymphatic vessel hyaluronan receptor -1 (LYVE-1), VEGF receptor-3 (VEGFR-3), PECAM-1, pan-cytokeratin and estrogen dependent pS2 protein. Overexpression of VEGF-C in transfected MCF-7 cells stimulated in vivo tumor growth in xenotransplanted mice without affecting estrogen responsiveness. The resulting tumors metastasized to the regional lymph nodes in 75% (in 6 mice out of 8, Experiment I) and in 62% (in 5 mice out of 8, Experiment II) of mice bearing orthotopic tumors formed by MCF-7-VEGF-C cells whereas no metastases were observed in mice bearing tumors of control vector-transfected MCF-7 cells (MCF-7-Mock). The density of intratumoral and peritumoral lymphatic vessels was increased in tumors derived from MCF-7-VEGF-C cells but not MCF-7-Mock cells. Taken together, our results show that VEGF-C overexpression stimulates tumor lymphangiogenesis and induces normally poorly metastatic estrogen-dependent MCF-7 tumors to disseminate to local lymph nodes. These data suggest that VEGF-C has an important role in lymph node metastasis of breast cancer even at its hormone-dependent early stage.},
  author       = {Mattila, Mirjami M-T and Ruohola, Johanna K. and Karpanen, Terhi and Jackson, David G. and Alitalo, Kari and Härkönen, Pirkko},
  issn         = {0020-7136},
  keyword      = {lymph node metastasis,lymphangiogenesis,VEGF-C,breast cancer},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {946--951},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {International Journal of Cancer},
  title        = {VEGF-C induced lymphangiogenesis is associated with lymph node metastasis in orthotopic MCF-7 tumors},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.10283},
  volume       = {98},
  year         = {2002},
}