Angiopoietins (Ang) are involved in the remodeling, maturation, and stabilization of the vascular network. Ang-4 was discovered more recently; thus, its effect on angiogenesis and its interplay with other angiogenic factors have not been equivocally established. The role of Ang-4 in angiogenesis was tested in Matrigel chambers implanted into the subcutaneous space of nude mice. Ang-4 inhibited the angiogenic response of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and GLC19 tumor cells. In Matrigel chambers with Ang-4-transfected cells, the mean response was significantly lower than that of mock cells. Subcutaneous tumor interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) was significantly lower in Ang-4-transfected GLC19 tumors than in mock-transfected tumors. IFP reduction in Ang-4-transfected tumors was comparable to the reduction seen after bevacizumab treatment. In vitro, we examined the effect of recombinant Ang-4 on endothelial cell migration in Boyden chambers. Human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) migration induced by bFGF and VEGF was inhibited by Ang-4 to control levels. In conclusion, we show that rhAng-4, as well as transfection with Ang-4, inhibits angiogenesis induced by GLC19 tumor cells and that Ang-4 expression reduces elevated tumor IFP. In addition, we demonstrate that rhAng-4 inhibits HUVEC migration and growth factor-induced angiogenesis.
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