Tong and a team of researchers have reported that oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells endogenously produce exceptionally high levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In addition to its proangiogenic function, they observed that VEGF fulfills an autocrine-paracrine role in OSCC by directly promoting OSCC cell proliferation and invasion.
Despite their epithelial origin, cultured OSCC cells express both VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 and serve as both targets and effectors for VEGF. Furthermore, the recognized angiostatic agent, Endostatin, inhibits OSCC cell migration and invasion. Therefore, the researchers of this study hypothesize that at least a subpopulation of OSCC cells have the capability to undergo an "epithelial-to-endotheliod transition" and this process facilitates OSCC progression.
The results of the study imply that OSCC cells undergo a phenotypic transition that endows endotheliod characteristics which augment VEGF production (with associated autocrine-paracrine functions) and facilitate OSCC cell mobility, enabling angiogenesis, tumor progression and metastases. These OSCC-endothelial cell commonalities introduce the prospect for concurrent antiangiogenic/antitumorigenic therapies.
This is a summary of abstract #753, "Epithelial-to-Endothelial Transition: An Epithelial Phenotypic Modulation Facilitating Oral-Squamous-Cell Carcinoma Progression," to be presented by M. Tong at 10:45 a.m. on Friday, March 5, 2010, in Exhibit Hall D of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, during the 39th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research.
About the American Association for Dental Research
The American Association for Dental Research (AADR), headquartered in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit organization with nearly 4,000 members in the United States. Its mission is: (1) to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health; (2) to support and represent the oral health research community; and (3) to facilitate the communication and application of research findings. AADR is the largest Division of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR).
To learn more about the AADR, visit www.aadronline.org.
Ingrid Thomas | EurekAlert!
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