Vascular endothelial growth factor-C promotes the growth and invasion of gallbladder cancer via an autocrine mechanism
Vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) has a well-defined action on neoplastic lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis through VEGF receptor-3 (VEGFR-3) and VEGFR-2, respectively, which are generally expressed in endothelial cells. The function of the VEGF-C/receptors pathway in tumor cell types is largely unknown. In this study, we examined the expression and role of VEGF-C/receptors in gallbladder cancer (GBC) cells. We examined the expression of VEGF-C in 50 surgical specimens from gallbladder cancer and three human gallbladder cancer cell lines. Both siRNA and neutralizing antibody to deplete the expression of VEGF-C were used to characterize the biological effect of VEGF-C in GBC NOZ cells. Furthermore, we examined the expression of its receptors, VEGFR-3 and VEGFR-2, in three human GBC cell lines. Our results are as follows: The expression of VEGF-C in the invasive marginal portion was significantly higher than the expression in the central portions. All the three GBC cell lines expressed VEGF-C. Treatment of NOZ cells with VEGF-C siRNA or a neutralizing antibody suppressed cell proliferation and invasion. Moreover, all the three GBC cell lines expressed VEGFR3, but only the NOZ cells expressed VEGFR-2 mRNA. Treatment of NOZ cells with a VEGFR-3 neutralizing antibody suppressed cell invasion, but treatment of NOZ cells with a VEGFR-2 neutralizing antibody suppressed cell proliferation and invasion. In conclusion, GBC cells express both VEGF-C and its receptors. VEGF-C may have a role in the progressive growth and invasion of human GBC through an autocrine mechanism.
KeywordsGallbladder cancer VEGF-C Receptors siRNA Autocrine Proliferation Invasion
This study was supported by the Key Sci-Tech Research Foundation of Fujian Province in China (No.2009Y0021), and the Key Project of Fujian Medical University in China (No. 09ZD017).
Conflict of interests
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