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      Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Production and Regulation in Rodent and Human Pituitary Tumor Cells in vitro

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          Angiogenesis, the formation of a new blood supply, is an essential step in tumorigenesis. Although vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is known to be a very potent angiogenic factor in most solid tumors, little is known about its production and regulation in pituitary adenomas. We have investigated basal and stimulated VEGF production by rodent pituitary tumor cells (mouse corticotrope AtT20, rat lactosomatotrope GH3, mouse gonadotrope αT3-1 and mouse folliculostellate TtT/GF cells), and by hormone-inactive (27), corticotrope (9), lactotrope (3) and somatotrope (21) human pituitary adenoma cell cultures. All 4 pituitary cell lines secreted VEGF, which in the case of AtT20, GH3 and TtT/GF cells was inhibited by approximately 50% by dexamethasone. TtT/GF cells were the most responsive to the different stimuli used since basal values were augmented by pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide-38 (PACAP-38), interleukin-6 (IL-6), transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α), IGF-I and the somatostatin analogue ocreotide. However, in GH3, AtT20 and αT3-1 cells, basal VEGF levels where not enhanced with any of the stimuli tested. The majority of the human adenomas tested (92%) basally secreted measurable VEGF which was inhibited by dexamethasone in most cases (84%). VEGF levels were increased in hormone inactive adenomas, somatotrope tumors and prolactinomas by TGF-α, PACAP-38, and 17β-estradiol, respectively. In conclusion, pituitary tumor cells are capable of producing VEGF which may be involved in tumoral angiogenesis. Our results concerning the suppression of VEGF by dexamethasone suggest that glucocorticoids may have anti-angiogenic properties and therefore therapeutic relevance for the treatment of pituitary adenomas.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Single-step method of RNA isolation by acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform extraction.

          A new method of total RNA isolation by a single extraction with an acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform mixture is described. The method provides a pure preparation of undegraded RNA in high yield and can be completed within 4 h. It is particularly useful for processing large numbers of samples and for isolation of RNA from minute quantities of cells or tissue samples.
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            Role of the Flt-1 receptor tyrosine kinase in regulating the assembly of vascular endothelium.

            The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its high-affinity binding receptors, the tyrosine kinases Flt-1 and Flk-1, are thought to be important for the development of embryonic vasculature. Here we report that Flt-1 is essential for the organization of embryonic vasculature, but is not essential for endothelial cell differentiation. Mouse embryos homozygous for a targeted mutation in the flt-1 locus, flt-1lcz, formed endothelial cells in both embryonic and extra-embryonic regions, but assembled these cells into abnormal vascular channels and died in utero at mid-somite stages. At earlier stages, the blood islands of flt-1lcz homozygotes were abnormal, with angioblasts in the interior as well as on the periphery. We suggest that the Flt-1 signalling pathway may regulate normal endothelial cell-cell or cell-matrix interactions during vascular development.
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              Tumor induction of VEGF promoter activity in stromal cells.

              We have established a line of transgenic mice expressing the A. victoria green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of the promoter for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Mice bearing the transgene show green cellular fluorescence around the healing margins and throughout the granulation tissue of superficial ulcerative wounds. Implantation of solid tumors in the transgenic mice leads to an accumulation of green fluorescence resulting from tumor induction of host VEGF promoter activity. With time, the fluorescent cells invade the tumor and can be seen throughout the tumor mass. Spontaneous mammary tumors induced by oncogene expression in the VEGF-GFP mouse show strong stromal, but not tumor, expression of GFP. In both wound and tumor models the predominant GFP-positive cells are fibroblasts. The finding that the VEGF promoter of nontransformed cells is strongly activated by the tumor microenvironment points to a need to analyze and understand stromal cell collaboration in tumor angiogenesis.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                August 2001
                27 July 2001
                : 74
                : 2
                : 95-105
                aMax Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Endocrinology, Munich, and cDepartment of Neurosurgery, University of Munich, Germany; bDepartment of Neurosurgery, Hospital San Raffaele, Milan, Italy
                54675 Neuroendocrinology 2001;74:95–105
                © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 3, References: 54, Pages: 11
                Regulation of Anterior Pituitary Hormones


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