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Local Effects of Retrovirally Transduced Endostatin-Expressing Human Umbilical Cord Blood CD34+ Cells on Transplanted Malignancy in a Mouse Model of Hepatic Cancer

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Antiangiogenesis has been exploited as an effective approach to inhibit the growth of solid tumors. This technique has been evaluated using various vectors in several xenograft animal models to demonstrate the efficacy of endostatin gene therapy against cancer growth. However, previous studies have not examined the use of cord blood CD34+ cells as endostatin-producing cells for gene therapy against hepatoma. This exploratory study was done to investigate the local effects of CD34+ cells transduced with the endostatin gene on a mouse xenograft tumor model. The human endostatin gene was transferred into CD34+ cells using the recombinant retrovirus plasmid, pLncx/endo. Expression was verified by RT-PCR and Western blot analyses, confirming the stable expression and secretion of endostatin from the transferred CD34+ cells. The proliferation of vascular endothelial cells was evaluated by MTT assay and found to decrease by about 59.9% when treated with the supernatant of cultured transfected CD34+ cells in vitro. These genetically modified cord blood CD34+ cells were implanted intratumorally and tumor regression was evaluated after 2 weeks. The average size of a xenograft tumor in the CD34+/endo group was reduced 31.39% compared to that in the untreated mice or those transplanted with CD34+ cells transduced with a control vector. The microvascular density of the tumor decreased 62.45% in the treated group. The expression of proliferation cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) also decreased significantly in the treated group. Moreover, the apoptotic index (AI) of tumors, as evaluated by TUNEL staining, was significantly enhanced in the treatment group. Our findings indicate that angiogenesis of the xenograft tumor in mice may be inhibited by local administration of genetically modified CD34+ cells expressing the endostatin gene. This novel approach may lead to a new direction of cell-based gene therapy for malignancy.

Keywords: Angiogenesis; CD34+ cells; Endostatin; Gene therapy; Tumor

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2008

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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