Recent findings implied that the progression of hematologic malignancies, like that of solid tumors, is dependent on neovascularization. Recent studies on patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) showed increased levels of leukocyte-associated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and neovascularization of the bone marrow. Murine (32D, M1) and human (HEL, U937, and UKE-1) leukemic cell lines and freshly isolated leukemic cells were analyzed for the expression of VEGF and VEGF receptor mRNA. The expression of VEGF and VEGF receptors KDR and neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) was detected in these cells. In a murine chloroma model, delivery of VEGF165 using microencapsulation technology resulted in enhanced tumor growth and vascularization, whereas treatment with a VEGF antagonist soluble NRP-1 (sNRP-1) inhibited tumor angiogenesis and growth. In a systemic leukemia model, survival of mice injected with adenovirus (Ad) encoding for Fc-sNRP-1 (sNRP-1 dimer) was significantly prolonged as compared with mice injected with Ad-LacZ. Further analyses showed a reduction in circulating leukemic cells and infiltration of liver and spleen as well as bone marrow neovascularization and cellularity. Taken together, these results demonstrate that angiogenic factors such as VEGF promote AML progression in vivo. The use of VEGF antagonists as an antiangiogenesis approach offers a potential treatment for AML. Finally, our novel in vivo drug delivery model may be useful for testing the activities of other peptide antiangiogenic factors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology