Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors are present on nonendothelial cells suggesting that VEGF may mediate nonendothelial effects during organogenesis and tumorigenesis. Here we show that VEGF receptor-1 (VEGFR-1) negatively regulates VEGFR-2-mediated proliferation via nitric oxide (NO) in an epithelial cancer cell line ECV304. Cell proliferation was assessed by [(3)H]thymidine incorporation, fluorescent-activated cell-sorting analysis, and cell number using a Coulter Counter. Total NO generated by the action of nitric oxide synthase was measured by Seivers NOA 280 Nitric Oxide Chemiluminescence Analyser. VEGF (1 ng/ml) stimulated DNA synthesis and increased ECV304 cell number in a manner that was inhibited by a neutralizing anti-VEGFR-2 antibody. In contrast, VEGF (50 ng/ml) stimulated NO release in a manner that was inhibited by functionally neutralizing anti-VEGFR-1 antibody. Blockage of the VEGFR-1 receptor signal with anti-VEGFR-1 stimulated DNA synthesis and increased cell number. Cell-cycle analysis showed that inhibition of VEGFR-1 increased the transition from G(1) to S phase whereas inhibition of VEGFR-2 blocked the VEGF-mediated transition from G(1) to S phase. Finally, the addition of NO donors suppressed both VEGF-mediated proliferation and the increase in growth after blockade of VEGFR-1. Conversely, inhibition of VEGF mediated NO release by nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, L-monomethyl-L-arginine, restored the mitogenic effect of VEGF. These findings identify a dose-dependent reciprocal regulatory mechanism for VEGF via its two receptors. It shows that VEGFR-1 induces cell cytostasis via NO and as such is a suitable target for molecular strategies suppressing tumorigenesis.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||The American Journal of Pathology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2001|