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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1613; doi:10.3390/ijms17101613

PlGF and VEGF-A Regulate Growth of High-Risk MYCN-Single Copy Neuroblastoma Xenografts via Different Mechanisms

1
Division of Cell and Developmental Biology, Center for Anatomy and Cell Biology, Medical University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
2
Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC), Medical University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shaker A. Mousa
Received: 8 August 2016 / Revised: 6 September 2016 / Accepted: 13 September 2016 / Published: 23 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Abstract

Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial solid tumor of childhood and is a rapidly growing, highly-vascularized cancer. NBs frequently express angiogenic factors and high tumor angiogenesis has been associated with poor outcomes. Placental growth factor (PlGF) is an angiogenic protein belonging to the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family and is up-regulated mainly in pathologic conditions. Recently, PlGF was identified as a member of a gene expression signature characterizing highly malignant NB stem cells drawing attention as a potential therapeutic target in NB. In the present study, we sought to investigate the expression of PlGF in NB patients and the effect of PlGF inhibition on high-risk MYCN-non-amplified SK-N-AS NB xenografts. Human SK-N-AS cells, which are poorly differentiated and express PlGF and VEGF-A, were implanted subcutaneously in athymic nude mice. Treatment was done by intratumoral injection of replication-incompetent adenoviruses (Ad) expressing PlGF- or VEGF-specific short hairpin (sh)RNA, or soluble (s)VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2). The effect on tumor growth and angiogenesis was analyzed. High PlGF expression levels were observed in human advanced-stage NBs. Down-regulating PlGF significantly reduced NB growth in established NB xenografts by reducing cancer cell proliferation but did not suppress angiogenesis. In contrast, blocking VEGF by administration of Ad(sh)VEGF and Ad(s)VEGFR2 reduced tumor growth associated with decreased tumor vasculature. These findings suggest that PlGF and VEGF-A modulate MYCN-non-amplified NB tumors by different mechanisms and support a role for PlGF in NB biology. View Full-Text
Keywords: placental growth factor; vascular endothelial growth factor A; vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2; neuroblastoma; xenograft model placental growth factor; vascular endothelial growth factor A; vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2; neuroblastoma; xenograft model
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zins, K.; Kovatchki, D.; Lucas, T.; Abraham, D. PlGF and VEGF-A Regulate Growth of High-Risk MYCN-Single Copy Neuroblastoma Xenografts via Different Mechanisms. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1613.

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