VEGF deprivation-induced apoptosis is a component of programmed capillary regression.
The pupillary membrane (PM) is a transient ocular capillary network, which can serve as a model system in which to study the mechanism of capillary regression. Previous work has shown that there is a tight correlation between the cessation of blood flow in a capillary segment and the appearance of apoptotic capillary cells throughout the segment. This pattern of cell death is referred to as synchronous apoptosis (Lang, R. A., Lustig, M., Francois, F., Sellinger, M. and Plesken, H. (1994) Development 120, 3395-3404; Meeson, A., Palmer, M., Calfon, M. and Lang, R. A. (1996) Development 122, 3929-3938). In the present study, we have investigated whether the cause of synchronous apoptosis might be a segmental deficiency of either oxygen or a survival factor. Labeling with the compound EF5 in a normal PM indicated no segmental hypoxia; this argued that oxygen deprivation was unlikely to be the cause of synchronous apoptosis. When rat plasma was used as a source of survival factors in an in vitro PM explant assay, inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) all but eliminated the activity of plasma in suppressing apoptosis. This argued that VEGF was an important plasma survival factor. Furthermore, inhibition of VEGF in vivo using fusion proteins of the human Flk-1/KDR receptor resulted in a significantly increased number of capillaries showing synchronous apoptosis. This provides evidence that VEGF is necessary for endothelial cell survival in this system and in addition, that VEGF deprivation mediated by flow cessation is a component of synchronous apoptosis. (+info)
Characterization of [18F]fluoroetanidazole, a new radiopharmaceutical for detecting tumor hypoxia.
Fluorinated derivatives of etanidazole are being explored as probes for tumor hypoxia. Our research group has synthesized [18F]fluoroetanidazole (FETA) and now reports the oxygen dependency of binding to cells in vitro, the biodistribution of the tracer in tumor-bearing mice and the analysis of metabolites in their plasma and urine. METHODS: Four cultured rodent cell lines (V79, 36B10, EMT6 and RIF1) were incubated with [18F]FETA for various times under graded O2 concentrations. We also compared the biodistributions of [18F]FETA and [18F]fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) at 2 and 4 h postinjection in C3H mice bearing KHTn tumors (130-430 mg). Reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography was used to distinguish metabolites from parent drugs in urine and plasma of mice injected with [18F]FETA or [18F]FMISO. RESULTS: In cells labeled in vitro, O2 levels of 600-1300 ppm inhibited binding by 50% relative to uptake under anoxic conditions (<10 ppm). These inhibitory values are not statistically different from those reported for [18F]FMISO in the same cell lines (700-1500 ppm). In the biodistribution studies, uptake in heart, intestine, kidney and tumor was similar for both tracers 4 h after injection, whereas retention of [18F]FETA in liver and lung was significantly lower. Less uptake of [18F]FETA in liver suggests that this nitroimidazole is metabolized less than [18F]FMISO. The brain-to-blood ratios indicate that [18F]FETA readily crosses the blood-brain barrier. High-performance liquid chromatography of urine demonstrated that 10% of [18F]FETA-derived activity was in metabolites at 2 h postinjection, with 15% in metabolites by 4 h; comparable values for [18F]FMISO were 36% and 57%, respectively. CONCLUSION: We conclude from these data that [18F]FETA holds promise as a new hypoxia tracer in patients, having oxygen dependency of binding similar to [18F]FMISO in vitro and displaying less retention in liver and fewer metabolites in vivo. (+info)
Detection of hypoxia in human squamous cell carcinoma by EF5 binding.
Localization and quantitation of 2-nitroimidazole drug binding in low pO2 tumors is a technique that can allow the assessment of hypoxia as a predictive assay. EF5 [2-(2-nitro-1H-imidazol-1-yl)-N-(2,2,3,3,3-pentafluoropropyl) acetamide] is such a drug, and it has been shown to be predictive of radiation response in rodent tumors. Using fluorescence immunohistochemical techniques, we provide data on the presence, distribution, and levels of EF5 binding as a surrogate for hypoxia in human head and neck and uterine cervix squamous cell cancers (SCCs). Six patients with SCC were studied. Four patients had head and neck tumors, and two had uterine cervix cancers. The incubation of fresh tissue cubes in EF3 under hypoxic conditions ("reference binding") demonstrated that all tumors were capable of binding drug, and that this binding varied by a factor of 2.9-fold (174.5-516.1) on an absolute fluorescence scale. In the five patients treated at the lowest drug doses (9 mg/kg), in situ binding was quantitatable. For all six patients, the maximum rate of in situ binding varied by a factor of 6.7 between the lowest and highest binding tumor (24.8-160.3) on an absolute fluorescence scale. In tumors with high binding regions, intratumoral heterogeneity was large, extending from minimal fluorescence (<1%) up to 88.6% of reference binding. In tumors with minimal binding, there was little intratumoral heterogeneity. These studies demonstrate substantial heterogeneity of in situ binding between and within individual squamous cell tumors. (+info)
Hypoxia in radiation-induced blood-spinal cord barrier breakdown.
The vascular endothelial cell is believed to be a major target cell of radiation-induced injury to the central nervous system. Dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier is associated with radiation-induced white matter lesions. The aim of this study was to determine the role of hypoxia in radiation-induced blood-brain barrier disruption. Adult rats were irradiated with graded single doses of 0-22 Gy to the cervical spinal cord. At various times up to 28 weeks after radiation, blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) permeability was assessed using immunohistochemistry with antialbumin antibody and gamma counting of (99m)Tc-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was assessed using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Hypoxia was assessed using two 2-nitroimidazole markers, [(125)I]iodoazomycin arabinodise and 2-(2-nitro-1H-imidazol-l-yl)-N-(2,2,3,3,3,-pentafluoropropyl) acetamide (EF5), with binding in the rat spinal cord measured using gamma counting and immunohistochemistry, respectively. In the nonirradiated rat spinal cord, there was no evidence of BSCB disruption or VEGF expression. After 16-22 Gy, there was a dose-dependent increase in albumin staining and (99m)Tc-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid activity beginning at 16 weeks, consistent with barrier breakdown. A similar dose-dependent increase in white matter astrocytes that showed immunoreactivity and in situ hybridization signals for VEGF was observed. No increase in VEGF-positive cells was observed in gray matter. By 20 weeks after 20-22 Gy, animals developed white matter necrosis associated with diffuse albumin staining. Irradiated rat spinal cord showed a dose (16-22 Gy)- and time-dependent (16-20 weeks after 22 Gy) increase in [(125)I]iodoazomycin arabinodise accumulation compared to nonirradiated controls. A similar pattern of dose- and time-dependent EF5 immunoreactivity was also observed in white matter. Areas of EF5 expression and VEGF in situ signals colocalized with areas of albumin immunoreactivity. It is concluded that there is a dose-dependent temporal and spatial association of hypoxia, VEGF up-regulation, and radiation-induced BSCB dysfunction. Hypoxia may provide the signal for VEGF up-regulation and perpetuate endothelial permeability damage in the central nervous system after ionizing radiation. (+info)
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha is an intrinsic marker for hypoxia in cervical cancer xenografts.
The hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) is known to induce the expression of several proteins linked to the maintenance of oxygen homeostasis, cellular energy metabolism, and tumor progression. Its alpha subunit (HIF-1alpha) is stabilized under hypoxic conditions and, therefore, might represent an intrinsic marker for tissue hypoxia. Here we report on the spatial relationship between HIF-1alpha and the nitroimidazole hypoxia marker EF5 in cervical carcinoma xenografts, and on their spatial relationship to tumor blood vessels. EF5 was administered to mice bearing ME180 and SiHa cervical cancer xenografts. Frozen tumor tissue sections, triple-stained for HIF-1alpha, the endothelial cell marker CD31, and EF5, were imaged using wide-field multiparameter immunofluorescence microscopy. Expression levels of EF5 and HIF-1alpha were similar in ME180 xenografts, but the percentage of tumor area stained with EF5 was significantly smaller than the percentage of HIF-1alpha-positive area in SiHa tumors. In both tumor types the EF5-HIF-1alpha overlap was statistically significant, thus confirming their spatial and temporal colocalization. Spatial distribution analysis of EF5 and HIF-1alpha is consistent with different pO2 value "thresholds" for EF5 binding and HIF-1alpha expression. Summarized, our results indicate that HIF-1alpha is a useful intrinsic marker for hypoxia in cervical carcinoma xenografts. (+info)
Hypoxia and VEGF mRNA expression in human tumors.
High expression of circulating plasma vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in patients with cancer is an indicator of poor treatment response. Similarly, hypoxia in tumors, as measured by oxygen needle electrodes, has been found to predict for tumor-treatment failure. These two predictors may be related because hypoxia is a potent stimulator of VEGF expression in vitro. However, the demonstration of a relationship between hypoxia and VEGF in human tumors has, to date, been indirect or even negative. The purpose of this study was to test whether this unexpected result was caused by factors unique to human tumors, or whether the prior results could have been influenced by the known complexities of VEGF regulation. Therefore, we undertook a direct assessment of VEGF induction in human tumors using in situ hybridization and compared its distribution with that of hypoxia, as measured by the distribution of adducts of the hypoxia marker EF5. The distribution of both markers was assessed in relationship to the distribution of blood vessels, as measured by antibodies to CD31. Our hypothesis was that VEGF mRNA and hypoxia would colocalize, assuming that detectability of the former was not limiting. Four squamous cell carcinomas, three sarcomas and one glioblastoma multiforme were studied. When VEGF mRNA signal was detectable, its maxima colocalized with regional maxima of EF5 binding. The strongest levels of both signals were sometimes adjacent to regions of tissue necrosis. However, we were unable to predict absolute levels of EF5 binding based on absolute levels of VEGF mRNA. Conversely, for all tumors studied, regions with relatively low levels of EF5 binding had relatively low or undetectable VEGF mRNA. We found moderate EF5 binding in some keratinized cells but VEGF mRNA was not expressed by these differentiated cells. The paradigm that hypoxia and VEGF expression are linked in human tumors is supported by the data presented herein. A better understanding of the biology behind VEGF expression, including its modulation by hypoxia, is important for optimizing its use as a prognostic indicator and/or modulating its presence with biologic therapies. (+info)
Green fluorescent protein is a suitable reporter of tumor hypoxia despite an oxygen requirement for chromophore formation.
The oxygen requirement for chromophore formation potentially limits the use of green fluorescent protein as a reporter under hypoxic conditions. In the light of this, the applicability of a hypoxia-responsive enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-based system to the measurement of tumor hypoxia was tested in human HT 1080 fibrosarcoma cells stably transfected with a destabilized EGFP vector containing the hypoxia-responsive 5HRE-hCMVmp promoter or, as a positive control, the strong constitutive CMV promoter. After various schedules of hypoxia and reoxygenation, EGFP fluorescence of live cells was assessed by flow cytometry, and protein levels were analyzed by Western blot. Fluorescence of CMV promoter positive control cells dropped to 38+/-5% of aerobic levels after 12 hours at <0.02% oxygen, but was unaffected by higher oxygen concentrations. Following 12 hours at <0.02% oxygen, cells transfected with the hypoxia-responsive vector exhibited maximum fluorescence after 4 hours of subsequent reoxygenation, reaching 68+/-2% of the levels in CMV promoter controls under aerobic conditions. With such reoxygenation, these cells exhibited a constant increase in fluorescence between 2% and <0.02% oxygen. EGFP chromophore formation is only affected by near-anoxic oxygen concentrations. The correlation of fluorescence and oxygen concentration is restored by a 4-hour reoxygenation period due to oxidation of pre-synthesized EGFP and a delayed increase in EGFP protein synthesis. (+info)
Activation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 in the rat cerebral cortex after transient global ischemia: potential role of insulin-like growth factor-1.
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a transcription factor that regulates the adaptive response to hypoxia in mammalian cells. It consists of a regulatory subunit HIF-1alpha, which accumulates under hypoxic conditions, and a constitutively expressed subunit HIF-1beta. In this study we analyzed HIF-1alpha expression in the rat cerebral cortex after transient global ischemia induced by cardiac arrest and resuscitation. Our results showed that HIF-1alpha accumulates as early as 1 hr of recovery and persists for at least 7 d. In addition, the expression of HIF-1 target genes, erythropoietin and Glut-1, were induced at 12 hr to 7d of recovery. A logical explanation for HIF-1alpha accumulation might be that the brain remained hypoxic for prolonged periods after resuscitation. By using the hypoxic marker 2-(2-nitroimidazole-1[H]-y1)-N-(2,2,3,3,3-pentafluoropropyl)-acetamide (EF5), we showed that the brain is hypoxic during the first hours of recovery from cardiac arrest, but the tissue is no longer hypoxic at 2 d. Thus, the initial ischemic episode must have activated other nonhypoxic mechanisms that maintain prolonged HIF-1alpha accumulation. One such mechanism might be initiated by insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Our results showed that IGF-1 expression was upregulated after cardiac arrest and resuscitation. In addition, we showed that IGF-1 was able to induce HIF-1alpha in pheochromocytoma cells and cultured neurons as well as in the brain of rats that received intracerebroventricular and systemic IGF-1 infusion. Moreover, infusion of a selective IGF-1 receptor antagonist abrogates HIF-1alpha accumulation after cardiac arrest and resuscitation. Our study suggest that activation of HIF-1 might be part of the mechanism by which IGF-1 promotes cell survival after cerebral ischemia. (+info)