Expression of angiogenesis inhibitors in human bladder cancer may explain rapid metastatic progression after radical cystectomy
- Wolf-Dietrich C. Beecken
- Tobias Engl
- Dietger Jonas
- Roman A. Blaheta
Published online on: February 1, 2009
Angiogenesis is essential for tumor growth and progression. It has been demonstrated that the expression of angiogenesis stimulators (e.g. basic fibroblast growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor) correlates to tumor progression in various human tumor types. Furthermore, endogenous angiogenesis inhibitors (e.g. angiostatin and endostatin) have been isolated from human tumor models and have been successfully used to treat tumors in mice and humans. In the present study, the expression of angiostatin, endostatin and thrombospondin-1 in four different human bladder cancer cell lines with different tumorigenic potential (MGH-U4, RT-4, RT-112 and UMUC-3) were investigated. A subset of bladder carcinoma patients demonstrates rapid metastatic progression after removal of the primary tumor, although no evidence of metastasis is diagnosed before the surgical procedure. A potential mechanism to explain this phenomenon is suggested. Angiostatin, endostatin and thrombospondin-1 was detected in the conditioned media of four human bladder cancer cell lines using Western blotting. Angiostatin was purified and amino acid sequenced via mass spectrometry. The biological activity of angiostatin was determined by proliferation assays using endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts. Tumor characteristics of the four human bladder carcinoma models were investigated in vitro and in vivo. All the bladder carcinoma cell lines employed in this study produced two biologically active variants of the angiostatin molecule (38 and 49 kDa). Endostatin and thrombospondin-1 were only produced by the low malignancy MGH-U4 and RT-4 bladder carcinoma models. This study identified the expression of different antiangiogenic molecules in human bladder carcinoma. The expression of antiangiogenic molecules seems to be a characteristic of low malignancy bladder carcinomas. The sudden lack of expression of antiangiogenic molecules as a consequence of surgical removal of highly malignant bladder carcinomas may explain the rapid metastatic progression of a subset of bladder carcinomas.