VEGF-C and VEGF-D blockade inhibits inflammatory skin carcinogenesis.

Alitalo, Annamari K; Proulx, Steven T; Karaman, Sinem; Aebischer, David; Martino, Stefania; Jost, Manuela; Schneider, Nicole; Bry, Maija; Detmar, Michael (2013). VEGF-C and VEGF-D blockade inhibits inflammatory skin carcinogenesis. Cancer research, 73(14), pp. 4212-4221. American Association for Cancer Research AACR 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-4539

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VEGF-C and VEGF-D were identified as lymphangiogenic growth factors and later shown to promote tumor metastasis, but their effects on carcinogenesis are poorly understood. Here, we have studied the effects of VEGF-C and VEGF-D on tumor development in the murine multistep chemical carcinogenesis model of squamous cell carcinoma by using a soluble VEGF-C/VEGF-D inhibitor. After topical treatment with a tumor initiator and repeated tumor promoter applications, transgenic mice expressing a soluble VEGF-C/VEGF-D receptor (sVEGFR-3) in the skin developed significantly fewer squamous cell tumors with a delayed onset when compared with wild-type mice or mice expressing sVEGFR-3 lacking the ligand-binding site. Epidermal proliferation was reduced in the carcinogen-treated transgenic skin, whereas epidermal keratinocyte proliferation in vitro was not affected by VEGF-C or VEGF-D, indicating indirect effects of sVEGFR-3 expression. Importantly, transgenic mouse skin was less sensitive to tumor promoter-induced inflammation, with reduced angiogenesis and blood vessel leakage. Cutaneous leukocytes, especially macrophages, were reduced in transgenic skin without major changes in macrophage polarization or blood monocyte numbers. Several macrophage-associated cytokines were also reduced in transgenic papillomas, although the dermal macrophages themselves did not express VEGFR-3. These findings indicate that VEGF-C/VEGF-D are involved in shaping the inflammatory tumor microenvironment that regulates early tumor progression. Our results support the use of VEGF-C/VEGF-D-blocking agents not only to inhibit metastatic progression, but also during the early stages of tumor growth.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Theodor Kocher Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Proulx, Steven Thomas


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




American Association for Cancer Research AACR




Ursula Zingg-Zünd

Date Deposited:

23 Oct 2020 09:51

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:41

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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