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See detailHigher sensitivity of Adamts12-deficient mice to tumor growth and angiogenesis.
El Hour, Mehdi ULg; Moncada-Pazos, A.; Blacher, Silvia ULg et al

in Oncogene (2010), 29(20), 3025-32

ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain with thrombospondin motifs) constitute a family of endopeptidases related to matrix metalloproteinases. These proteases have been largely implicated in ... [more ▼]

ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain with thrombospondin motifs) constitute a family of endopeptidases related to matrix metalloproteinases. These proteases have been largely implicated in tissue remodeling and angiogenesis associated with physiological and pathological processes. To elucidate the in vivo functions of ADAMTS-12, we have generated a knockout mouse strain (Adamts12−/−) in which Adamts12 gene was deleted. The mutant mice had normal gestations and no apparent defects in growth, life span and fertility. By applying three different in vivo models of angiogenesis (malignant keratinocyte transplantation, Matrigel plug and aortic ring assays) to Adamts12−/− mice, we provide evidence for a protective effect of this host enzyme toward angiogenesis and cancer progression. In the absence of Adamts-12, both the angiogenic response and tumor invasion into host tissue were increased. Complementing results were obtained by using medium conditioned by cells overexpressing human ADAMTS-12, which inhibited vessel outgrowth in the aortic ring assay. This angioinhibitory effect of ADAMTS-12 was independent of its enzymatic activity as a mutated inactive form of the enzyme was similarly efficient in inhibiting endothelial cell sprouting in the aortic ring assay than the wild-type form. Altogether, our results show that ADAMTS-12 displays antiangiogenic properties and protect the host toward tumor progression. [less ▲]

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See detailHuman Chorionic Gonadotropin: a hormone with immunological and angiogenic properties.
Tsampalas, M.; Gridelet, Virginie ULg; Berndt, Sarah ULg et al

in Journal of Reproductive Immunology (2010), 85(1), 93-8

The success of implantation depends on a receptive endometrium, a normal blastocyst and synchronized cross-talk at the maternal–fetal interface. The progression of pregnancy then requires immunological ... [more ▼]

The success of implantation depends on a receptive endometrium, a normal blastocyst and synchronized cross-talk at the maternal–fetal interface. The progression of pregnancy then requires immunological tolerance which allows conceptus survival. A cascade of cytokines mediates this dialogue and is crucial in the cross-talk between the immune and endocrine systems. The first known human embryo-derived signal is chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) by which the embryo profoundly influences immunological tolerance and angiogenesis at the maternal–fetal interface. hCG levels coincide with the development of trophoblast tolerance. Indeed, it increases the number of uterine natural killer cells that play a key role in the establishment of pregnancy. hCG also intervenes in the development of local immune tolerance through the cellular system of apoptosis via Fas/Fas-Ligand. It modulates the Th1/Th2 balance and acts on complement C3 and C4A/B factors modulating decidual immunity. The transient tolerance evident during gestation is at least partially achieved via the presence of regulatory T cells which are attracted by hCG at the fetal–maternal interface. Finally, hCG treatment of activated dendritic cells results in an up-regulation of MHC class II, IL-10 and IDO expression, reducing the ability to stimulate T cell proliferation. Successful implantation requires an extensive endometrial angiogenesis in the implantation site. Recent data demonstrate angiogenic effects of hCG via its interaction with endometrial and endothelial LH/hCG receptors. Our review focuses on these functions of hCG, giving new insight into the endocrine–immune dialogue that exists between the conceptus and immune cells within the receptive endometrium at the time of implantation. [less ▲]

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See detailLes défauts d'implantation placentaire et leurs conséquences sur la fonction endothéliale maternelle
Foidart, Jean-Michel ULg; Noël, Agnès ULg; Chantraine, Frédéric ULg et al

in Bulletin Académique National de Médecine (2009), 193(5), 1059-66

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See detailThe lymphatic ring assay: a 3D-culture model of lymphangiogenesis.
Bruyere, Françoise ULg; Melen-Lamalle, Laurence ULg; Berndt, Sarah ULg et al

in Nature Protocols (2008)

Lymphangiogenesis, the formation of new lymphatic vessels, is associated to numerous pathologies1 and understanding the molecular and cellular basis of this complex process is essential for the ... [more ▼]

Lymphangiogenesis, the formation of new lymphatic vessels, is associated to numerous pathologies1 and understanding the molecular and cellular basis of this complex process is essential for the development of novel therapeutic strategies. Studies on lymphangiogenesis have been hampered by difficulties in culturing lymphatic capillaries as three-dimensional (3D) structures in vitro that mimic the in vivo features of lymphatic vessels and lymphangiogenesis. The lymphatic ring assay described here phenocopies the different steps of lymphangiogenesis, including the spreading from a preexisting vessel, cell proliferation, migration and differentiation into capillaries. It consists on the adaptation of the aortic ring assay that has proved to be useful to investigate the molecular basis of angiogenesis2-4. The lymphatic ring model is an ideal assay for testing the activity of lymphangiogenic agonists or antagonists. The absence of inflammatory cells allows a simple interpretation of results and the determination of direct effects of compounds on lymphatic endothelial cell properties. Another advantage of the lymphatic ring assay is that cell outgrowing are primary cells which have not been modified by repeated passages or immortalization. This culture model bridges the gap between in vitro and in vivo studies and allows genetic analysis by using thoracic ducts from genetically modified mice. [less ▲]

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See detailHypoxia is responsible for soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (VEGFR-1) but not for soluble endoglin induction in villous trophoblast
Munaut, Carine ULg; Lorquet, Sophie ULg; Pequeux, Christel ULg et al

in Human Reproduction (2008), 23(6), 1407-15

BACKGROUND: Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy disorder characterized by a maternal endothelial cell dysfunction associated with low levels of circulating placental growth factor (PlGF) and increased levels of ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy disorder characterized by a maternal endothelial cell dysfunction associated with low levels of circulating placental growth factor (PlGF) and increased levels of total vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), soluble VEGF receptor-1 (sVEGFR-1), and soluble endoglin, a transforming growth factor b1 and 3 coreceptor. Here, we tested the hypothesis that these altered levels of angiogenic cytokines and of the anti-angiogenic soluble forms of cytokine receptors could be the consequence of hypoxia. METHODS: Normal human umbilical vein endothelial cells, immortalized first trimester extravillous trophoblast cells (HTR8/SVneo) and first trimester placental villi explants (8–14 weeks) were used for culture under normoxia (20% O2) or hypoxia (1% O2). Culture media were collected for the measurement of cytokines by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Total RNA was extracted for RT-PCR analysis. RESULTS: Under hypoxia, villous trophoblast expressed higher levels of VEGF, VEGFR-1, sVEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 mRNAs (P < 0.001), and secreted more VEGF and sVEGFR-1 proteins (P < 0.05). In contrast, PlGF mRNA and protein were decreased in 1% O2 (P < 0.001), whereas endoglin (Eng) was not modulated. Additionally, sVEGFR-1 directly abolished VEGF/PlGF-induced angiogenesis in the rat aortic ring assay. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the hypotheses that, in pre-eclampsia, (i) overproduction of VEGF family factors by pre-eclamptic placenta is a consequence of induced hypoxia; (ii) overproduction of sVEGFR-1 by hypoxic villous trophoblast accounts for maternal free VEGF depletion; (iii) low circulating level of free PlGF is not only related to sVEGFR-1 overproduction, but also to hypoxia induced mRNA down-regulation; (iv) Eng is not modulated by hypoxia.. [less ▲]

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See detailImplication of soluble receptors of VEGF, sVEGFR-1 and sVEGFR-2, in angiogenesis
Lorquet, Sophie ULg; Berndt, Sarah ULg; Blacher, Silvia ULg et al

in American Journal of Reproductive Immunology (2008), 60/1

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See detailImplication of VEGF receptor soluble forms, sVEGFR-1 and sVEGFR-2, in angiogenesis
Lorquet, Sophie ULg; Berndt, Sarah ULg; Blacher, Silvia ULg et al

in Acta Clinica Belgica (2008), 63/1

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See detailDialogue between Blastocyst hCG and Endometrial LH/hCG Receptor: Which Role in Implantation?
PERRIER d'HAUTERIVE, Sophie ULg; Berndt, Sarah ULg; Tsampalas, Marie ULg et al

in Gynecologic & Obstetric Investigation (2007), 64(3), 156-60

The specific interaction of blastocyst-derived human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and endometrial LH/hCG-R constitutes a fundamental component of the molecular dialogue at the materno-fetal interface ... [more ▼]

The specific interaction of blastocyst-derived human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and endometrial LH/hCG-R constitutes a fundamental component of the molecular dialogue at the materno-fetal interface. From our observations and studies from other groups, hCG was indeed shown to play a significant role in implantation and tolerance of the embryo, decidual differentiation and remodeling, as well as in placentation. The profile pattern of LH/hCG-R expression by endometrial epithelium correlates with the theoretical timing of the implantation window. Studies are currently being conducted in assisted medical procreation and in an animal model of implantation to establish the index of LH/hCG-R expression as a new biomarker of uterine receptivity for embryo implantation. [less ▲]

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See detailAngiogenic activity of human chorionic gonadotropin through LH receptor activation on endothelial and epithelial cells of the endometrium
Berndt, Sarah ULg; PERRIER d'HAUTERIVE, Sophie ULg; Blacher, Silvia ULg et al

in FASEB Journal (2006), 20(14), 2630-2632

Successful embryo development requires an extensive endometrial angiogenesis in proximity of implantation site. The glycoprotein hCG is produced even before implantation by trophoblast in normal pregnancy ... [more ▼]

Successful embryo development requires an extensive endometrial angiogenesis in proximity of implantation site. The glycoprotein hCG is produced even before implantation by trophoblast in normal pregnancy. In this manuscript, we demonstrate an angiogenic effect of hCG in several in vivo (chick chorioallantoic membrane, matrigel plug assay, aortic ring assay) and in vitro experimental models. In contrast, human placental lactogen (hPL) did not display angiogenic properties. LH/hCG receptor was detected in endothelial cells by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and by Western blotting. In mice aortic ring assay, angiostimulation by hCG was abrogated by deletion of LH/hCG receptor (LuRKO mice). Use of recombinant hCG and anti-hCG antibody (Ab) further confirmed the specificity of this angiogenic activity. By using dibutyryl cAMP, adenylate cyclase, or protein kinase A inhibitors, we demonstrate that hCG-mediated angiogenesis involves adenylyl-cyclase-protein kinase A activation. Addition of hCG to endometrial epithelial epithelial cells, but not to cultured endothelial cells, stimulated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF and hCG also displayed additive activities. Altogether, these data demonstrate that peritrophoblastic angiostimulation may result from a paracrine dialogue between trophoblast, epithelial, and endothelial cells through hCG and VEGF. [less ▲]

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See detailEarlier onset of tumoral anglogenesis in matrix metalloproteinase-19-deficient mice
Jost, M.; Folgueras, A. R.; Frerart, F. et al

in Cancer Research (2006), 66(10), 5234-5241

Among matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), MMP-19 displays unique structural features and tissue distribution. In contrast to most MMPs, MMP-19 is expressed in normal human epidermis and down-regulated during ... [more ▼]

Among matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), MMP-19 displays unique structural features and tissue distribution. In contrast to most MMPs, MMP-19 is expressed in normal human epidermis and down-regulated during malignant transformation and dedifferentiation. The contribution of MMP-19 during tumor angiogenesis is presently unknown. In an attempt to give new insights into MMP-19 in vivo functions, angiogenic response of mutant mice lacking MMP-19 was analyzed after transplantation of murine malignant PDVA keratinocytes and after injection of Matrigel supplemented with basic fibroblast growth factor. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemical analysis revealed that MMP-19 is produced by host mesenchymal cells but not by endothelial capillary cells or CD11b-positive inflammatory cells. Based on a new computer-assisted method of quantification, we provide evidence that host MMP-19 deficiency was associated with an increased early angiogenic response. In addition, increased tumor invasion was observed in MMP-19-/- mice. We conclude that, in contrast to most MMPs that promote tumor progression, MMP-19 is a negative regulator of early steps of tumor angiogenesis and invasion. These data highlight the requirement to understand the individual functions of each MMP to improve anticancer strategies. [less ▲]

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See detailTrophoblast Invasion and Placentation: Molecular Mechanisms and Regulation
van den Brule, F.; Berndt, Sarah ULg; Simon, N. et al

in Chemical Immunology and Allergy (2005), 88

Trophoblast invasion is a key process during human placentation. This event constitutes the basis of the conversion of the uterine spiral arteries, a process which allows an adequate vascular connection ... [more ▼]

Trophoblast invasion is a key process during human placentation. This event constitutes the basis of the conversion of the uterine spiral arteries, a process which allows an adequate vascular connection between the intervillous space and the maternal blood flow. Trophoblast invasion is transient, with stringent spatial and temporal control. Preeclampsia, a leading cause of maternal and fetal mortality and morbidity, is associated with decreased, shallow trophoblastic invasion. In this article, we review the molecular mechanisms of trophoblast invasion, and its mechanisms of regulation. Insights into the etiopathogenesis of preeclampsia will also be detailed. [less ▲]

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See detailHuman chorionic gonadotropin and growth factors at the embryonic-endometrial interface control leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) secretion by human endometrial epithelium
PERRIER d'HAUTERIVE, Sophie ULg; Charlet, Jeanne de Chantal ULg; Berndt, Sarah ULg et al

in Human Reproduction (2004), 19(11), 2633-2643

BACKGROUND: The elucidation of the molecular mechanisms by which the embryo contributes to its implantation is an area of extensive research. The main objective of this study was to investigate the ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The elucidation of the molecular mechanisms by which the embryo contributes to its implantation is an area of extensive research. The main objective of this study was to investigate the pattern of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) secretion by human endometrial epithelium, and their regulation by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and other growth factors present at the embryonic-endometrial interface. METHODS: Endometrial epithelial cells (EEC) were isolated from biopsies collected at both proliferative and secretory phases of fertile women. RESULTS: HCG (1-50 IU/ml) increased LIF secretion by EEC cultures derived from follicular phase (up to 285+/-75%) or from secretory phase (up to 212+/-16%). In contrast, hCG reduced IL-6 secretion by EEC in both phases. The hCG/LH receptor gene was transcribed by EEC as evidenced by RT-PCR. Insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 increased LIF secretion by EEC. Transforming growth factor beta1 stimulated LIF and reduced IL-6 secretion. CONCLUSIONS: Through hCG, the blastocyst may be involved in the control of its implantation (via an increase of proimplantatory LIF) and tolerance (via an inhibition of proinflammatory IL-6). Other growth factors present at the embryonic-endometrial interface are also involved in the control of LIF and IL-6 endometrial secretion. [less ▲]

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See detailMouse Aortic Ring Assay: A New Approach of the Molecular Genetics of Angiogenesis
Masson, Véronique ULg; Devy, L.; Grignet-Debrus, Christine ULg et al

in Biological Procedures Online (2002), 4

Angiogenesis, a key step in many physiological and pathological processes, involves proteolysis of the extracellular matrix. To study the role of two enzymatic families, serine-proteases and matrix ... [more ▼]

Angiogenesis, a key step in many physiological and pathological processes, involves proteolysis of the extracellular matrix. To study the role of two enzymatic families, serine-proteases and matrix metalloproteases in angiogenesis, we have adapted to the mouse, the aortic ring assay initially developed in the rat. The use of deficient mice allowed us to demonstrate that PAI-1 is essential for angiogenesis while the absence of an MMP, MMP-11, did not affect vessel sprouting. We report here that this model is attractive to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis, to identify, characterise or screen "pro- or anti-angiogenic agents that could be used for the treatment of angiogenesis-dependent diseases. Approaches include using recombinant proteins, synthetic molecules and adenovirus-mediated gene transfer. [less ▲]

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See detailThe antitumoral effect of endostatin and angiostatin is associated with a down-regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor expression in tumor cells
Hajitou, Amin; Grignet, Christine ULg; Devy, L. et al

in FASEB Journal (2002), 16

Endostatin and angiostatin are known as tumor-derived angiogenesis inhibitors, but their mechanisms of action are not yet completely defined. We report here that endostatin and angiostatin, delivered by ... [more ▼]

Endostatin and angiostatin are known as tumor-derived angiogenesis inhibitors, but their mechanisms of action are not yet completely defined. We report here that endostatin and angiostatin, delivered by adenoviral vectors, reduced in vitro the neovessel formation in the mouse aortic ring assay by 85 and 40%, respectively. We also demonstrated in vivo that both endostatin and angiostatin inhibited local invasion and tumor vascularization of transplanted murine malignant keratinocytes, and reduced by 50 and 90% the development of highly vascularized murine mammary tumors. This inhibition of tumor growth was associated with a reduction of tumor vascularization. Expression analysis of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) carried out in the mouse aortic ring model revealed a 3- to 10-fold down-regulation of VEGF mRNA expression in endostatin-treated rings. A similar down-regulation of VEGF expression at both mRNA and protein levels was also observed in the two in vivo cancer models after treatment with each angiogenesis inhibitor. This suggests that endostatin and angiostatin effects may be mediated, at least in part, by their ability to down-regulate VEGF expression within the tumor. This work provides evidence that endostatin and angiostatin act on tumor cells themselves. [less ▲]

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