International journal of oncology

A novel angiogenesis model for screening anti-angiogenic compounds: the chorioallantoic membrane/feather bud assay.

PMID 20514398


Enhanced angiogenesis is a hallmark of solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Anti-angiogenic therapeutic approaches have recently been shown to be effective for the treatment of certain cancers. Endothelial cells migrating to tumors provide them with new blood vessels that are critical for their growth and survival. We have developed a novel and rapid method to evaluate the anti-angiogenic activity of new agents consisting of a combined chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and feather bud (FB) assay. Unlike previous assays, this new assay assesses the effects of drugs on the ability of tissues to attract and develop their own blood supply. The CAM already has a well-developed vascular network that is capable of providing blood vessels to the non-vascularized FB, allowing for this tissue to develop feathers. As a result, the exposure of the FB to drugs for 2 days followed by attachment to the CAM for 4 days allows evaluation of the compound's ability to impact blood vessel and feather formation within the CAM-attached FB tissue. Feather formation is determined as well as expression of endothelial cell genes and proteins analyzed. Using agents with known anti-angiogenic activity including fumagillin, minocycline, zoledronic acid, doxorubicin and agents lacking anti-angiogenic activity such as melphalan, we have shown that the CAM/FB assay can accurately and rapidly assess the ability of agents to prevent blood vessel and feather development within non-vascularized tissues.