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Biochemical pharmacology

Cannabinoids inhibit angiogenic capacities of endothelial cells via release of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-1 from lung cancer cells.


PMID 24976505

Abstract

Cannabinoids inhibit tumor neovascularization as part of their tumorregressive action. However, the underlying mechanism is still under debate. In the present study the impact of cannabinoids on potential tumor-to-endothelial cell communication conferring anti-angiogenesis was studied. Cellular behavior of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) associated with angiogenesis was evaluated by Boyden chamber, two-dimensional tube formation and fibrin bead assay, with the latter assessing three-dimensional sprout formation. Viability was quantified by the WST-1 test. Conditioned media (CM) from A549 lung cancer cells treated with cannabidiol, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, R(+)-methanandamide or the CB2 agonist JWH-133 elicited decreased migration as well as tube and sprout formation of HUVEC as compared to CM of vehicle-treated cancer cells. Inhibition of sprout formation was further confirmed for cannabinoid-treated A549 cells co-cultured with HUVEC. Using antagonists to cannabinoid-activated receptors the antimigratory action was shown to be mediated via cannabinoid receptors or transient receptor potential vanilloid 1. SiRNA approaches revealed a cannabinoid-induced expression of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) as well as its upstream trigger, the intercellular adhesion molecule-1, to be causally linked to the observed decrease of HUVEC migration. Comparable anti-angiogenic effects were not detected following direct exposure of HUVEC to cannabinoids, but occurred after addition of recombinant TIMP-1 to HUVEC. Finally, antimigratory effects were confirmed for CM of two other cannabinoid-treated lung cancer cell lines (H460 and H358). Collectively, our data suggest a pivotal role of the anti-angiogenic factor TIMP-1 in intercellular tumor-endothelial cell communication resulting in anti-angiogenic features of endothelial cells.