Bone marrow-derived stem/progenitor cells play an important role in the growth of Ewing's sarcoma tumors

Krishna Reddy, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Both angiogenesis and vasculogenesis contribute to the formation and expansion of tumor neovasculature. We demonstrated that bone marrow (BM)-derived cells migrated to TC71 Ewing's tumors and differentiated into endothelial cells lining perfused, functional tumor neovessels. In addition, a substantial fraction of recruited, BM-derived cells resided in the vessel vicinity but did not demonstrate endothelial differentiation. Rather, these perivascular cells expressed desmin and PDGFR-β, implying pericyte-like/vascular smooth muscle cell differentiation. No defined, consensus set of markers exists for endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and the specific subsets of BM cells that participate in vessel formation are poorly understood. We used a functional in vivo assay to investigate the roles performed by specific human- and murine-derived stem/progenitor subpopulations within Ewing's sarcoma tumors. CD34 +45+, CD34+38-, VEGFR2 + and Sca1+Gr1+ cells were demonstrated to establish residence within the expanding tumor vascular network and differentiate into endothelial cells and pericytes. By constrast, CD34-45 + and Sca1-Gr1+ cells predominantly localized to sites outside the Ewing's tumor vasculature, and differentiated into macrophages. Cytokines, such as VEGF, influence the recruitment of BM cells and their incorporation into the tumor vasculature. VEGF165-inhibited TC/siVEGF7-1 Ewing's tumors showed delayed in vivo tumor growth, decreased vessel density, and reduced infiltration of BM progenitor cells. We tested whether another chemoattractant, Stromal Cell-Derived Factor-1 (SDF-1), could augment the growth of these VEGF165-inhibited TC/siVEGF 7-1 tumors by enhancing the recruitment of BM cells and stimulating neovasculature expansion. SDF-1 promoted progenitor cell chemotaxis and retainment of BM-derived pericyte precursors in close association with functional, perfused tumor blood vessels. Treatment of TC/siVEGF7-1 tumors with adenovirus-SDF-1α resulted in augmented tumor size, enhanced pericyte coverage of tumor neovessels, remodeling of vascular endothelium into larger, functional structures, and upregulation of PDGF-BB, with no effect on VEGF165. Taken together, these findings suggest that the recruitment of BM stem/progenitor cells plays an important role in the growth of Ewing's tumors.

Subject Area

Cellular biology|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Reddy, Krishna, "Bone marrow-derived stem/progenitor cells play an important role in the growth of Ewing's sarcoma tumors" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3264641.