Hypoxia increases endothelial cell invasion and migration
Mori N, Gimi B, Bhujwalla Z
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were labeled with iron-oxide nanoparticles to provide T2-contrast in MRI. HUVEC invasion and motility in extracellular matrix (ECM) gel was characterized in the presence and absence of cancer cells, under both normoxia and hypoxia. The results demonstrated that hypoxia is a potent stimulus for endothelial cell invasion and migration in the absence of cancer cells and that neovascularization may occur through autocrine signaling in endothelial cells. The assay can also be used to characterize synergistic effects of two or more factors in the angiogenic cascade, and can help identify key targets for anti-angiogenic treatment.