Suppression of hypoxia-induced excessive angiogenesis by metformin via elevating tumor blood perfusion.

PMID 29088755


The anti-diabetic metformin has been demonstrated to be effective in suppression of tumor progression via multiple mechanisms, in which angiogenic inhibition is involved. Hypoxia is a common feather of malignant tumor and promotes angiogenesis via induction of pro-angiogenic factors. However, the effect of metformin on tumor hypoxia and the association with angiogenic inhibition are still unclear. In the current study, we investigated the effects of metformin on both tumor blood perfusion and hypoxia-induced excessive angiogenesis. In the tumor region adjacent to necrosis, aberrantly excessive angiogenesis resulted from hypoperfusion-induced intense hypoxia and greatly contributed to the high average levels of both microvessel density and vascular branch density. Metformin administration increased the percentage of lectin-perfused vessels and reduced hypoxyprobe-positive area. This metformin-induced amelioration of hypoxia was accompanied by a significant reduction in expressions of both HIF-1α and angiogenesis-associated factors (AAFs). Consequently, inhibited excessive angiogenesis in hypoxic peri-necrotic region was observed in metformin-treated tumor. Further stable knockdown of HIF-1α abrogated hypoxia-induced AAFs