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Modulation of cerebral endothelial cell function by TGF-β in glioblastoma: VEGF-dependent angiogenesis versus endothelial mesenchymal transition


Krishnan, S; Szabo, E; Burghardt, I; Frei, K; Tabatabai, G; Weller, M (2015). Modulation of cerebral endothelial cell function by TGF-β in glioblastoma: VEGF-dependent angiogenesis versus endothelial mesenchymal transition. OncoTarget, 6(26):22480-22495.

Abstract

Glioblastoma are among the most angiogenic tumors. The molecular mechanisms that control blood vessel formation by endothelial cells (EC) in glioblastoma remain incompletely understood. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a key regulatory cytokine that has proinvasive and stemness-maintaining autocrine properties in glioblastoma and confers immunosuppression to the tumor microenvironment. Here we characterize potential pro- and anti-angiogenic activities of TGF-β in the context of glioblastoma in vitro, using human brain-derived microvascular endothelial cells (hCMEC/D3) and glioblastoma-derived endothelial cells (GMEC) as model systems. We find that TGF-β induces vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and placental growth factor (PlGF) mRNA expression and protein release in a TGF-β receptor (TβR) II / activin-like kinase (ALK)-5-dependent manner under normoxia and hypoxia, defining potential indirect proangiogenic activity of TGF-β in glioblastoma. In parallel, exogenous TGF-β has also inhibitory effects on EC properties and induces endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) in hCMEC and GMEC. Accordingly, direct inhibition of endogenous TGF-β/ALK-5 signalling increases EC properties such as tube formation, von-Willebrand factor (vWF) and claudin (CLDN) 5 expression. Yet, the supernatant of TGF-β-stimulated hCMEC and GMEC strongly promotes EC-related gene expression and tube formation in a cediranib-sensitive manner. These observations shed light on the complex pro- and anti-angiogenic pathways involving the cross-talk between TGF-β and VEGF/PLGF signalling in glioblastoma which may involve parallel stimulation of angiogenesis and EndMT in distinct target cell populations.

Abstract

Glioblastoma are among the most angiogenic tumors. The molecular mechanisms that control blood vessel formation by endothelial cells (EC) in glioblastoma remain incompletely understood. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a key regulatory cytokine that has proinvasive and stemness-maintaining autocrine properties in glioblastoma and confers immunosuppression to the tumor microenvironment. Here we characterize potential pro- and anti-angiogenic activities of TGF-β in the context of glioblastoma in vitro, using human brain-derived microvascular endothelial cells (hCMEC/D3) and glioblastoma-derived endothelial cells (GMEC) as model systems. We find that TGF-β induces vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and placental growth factor (PlGF) mRNA expression and protein release in a TGF-β receptor (TβR) II / activin-like kinase (ALK)-5-dependent manner under normoxia and hypoxia, defining potential indirect proangiogenic activity of TGF-β in glioblastoma. In parallel, exogenous TGF-β has also inhibitory effects on EC properties and induces endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) in hCMEC and GMEC. Accordingly, direct inhibition of endogenous TGF-β/ALK-5 signalling increases EC properties such as tube formation, von-Willebrand factor (vWF) and claudin (CLDN) 5 expression. Yet, the supernatant of TGF-β-stimulated hCMEC and GMEC strongly promotes EC-related gene expression and tube formation in a cediranib-sensitive manner. These observations shed light on the complex pro- and anti-angiogenic pathways involving the cross-talk between TGF-β and VEGF/PLGF signalling in glioblastoma which may involve parallel stimulation of angiogenesis and EndMT in distinct target cell populations.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:8 September 2015
Deposited On:04 Dec 2015 13:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:31
Publisher:Impact Journals, LLC
ISSN:1949-2553
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.4310
PubMed ID:26090865

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