Author(s): Nozawa H, Chiu C, Hanahan D
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Abstract Matrix metalloprotease type 9 (MMP-9) has been functionally implicated in VEGF activation, the induction and maintenance of chronic angiogenesis, and early stage tumor growth in a number of mouse models of cancer. In this article, we have identified two inflammatory cell types that are major sources of MMP-9 in the angiogenic stages of pancreatic islet carcinogenesis that unfold in RIP1-Tag2 transgenic mice. MMP-9-expressing neutrophils were predominantly found inside angiogenic islet dysplasias and tumors, whereas MMP-9-expressing macrophages were localized along the periphery of such lesions. Transient depletion of neutrophils significantly suppressed VEGF:VEGF-receptor association, a signature of MMP-9 activity, and markedly reduced the frequency of initial angiogenic switching in dysplasias. Thus infiltrating neutrophils can play a crucial role in activating angiogenesis in a previously quiescent tissue vasculature during the early stages of carcinogenesis.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies