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Cell Growth & Differentiation Vol. 13, 387-395, August 2002
© 2002 American Association for Cancer Research

Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Kaposi’s Sarcoma Cells in Human Skin Grafts1

Felipe Samaniego2, Daniel Young, Cara Grimes, Vanessa Prospero, Melpo Christofidou-Solomidou, Horace M. DeLisser, Om Prakash, Aysegul A. Sahin and Suizhao Wang

Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma [F. S., C. G., V. P.], Clinical Cancer Prevention, Departments of Clinical Cancer Prevention [F. S., C. G., V. P., D. Y., S. W.] and Pathology [A. S.], The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030; University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 [M. C-S., H. M. D.]; and Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, Louisiana 70121 [O. P.]

Human cancer cells often produce tumors in animal models that incompletely reproduce the histology of the parental tumor. Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) cells, in particular, have not produced durable angiogenic lesions in animal models that resemble those of KS in humans. We investigated the contribution of transformed KS cells, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and human skin tissue on tumor development in a human skin graft/mouse model. High levels of serum VEGF (322 pg/ml) were seen in HIV-1-infected persons with KS compared with HIV-1-infected persons without KS (115 pg/ml). Human KS lesions expressed VEGF in the spindle cells. Transformed KS cells expressed the mitogenically active 121-amino acid and 165-amino acid isoforms of VEGF. Tumors induced by KS cells implanted in the SCID mice grew preferentially in human skin grafts rather than in ungrafted murine skin. Tumors induced in the presence of human skin grafts developed numerous lumens expressing {alpha}vß3 integrin. KS cells inoculated with neutralizing anti-VEGF antibody did not form tumors. This study supports an important role for VEGF in tumor development and shows how a human tissue can preferentially promote tumor growth.




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Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 2002 by the American Association of Cancer Research.