American Association for Cancer Research, Inc. (AACR)
[en] The tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2 (TIMP-2) has at least two independent functions, i.e., regulation of matrix metalloproteinases and growth promoting activity. We investigated the effects of TIMP-2 overexpression, induced by retroviral mediated gene transfer, on the in vivo development of mammary tumors in syngeneic mice inoculated with EF43.fgf-4 cells. The EF43.fgf-4 cells established by stably infecting the normal mouse mammary EF43 cells with a retroviral expression vector for the fgf-4 oncogene, are highly tumorigenic and overproduce vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Despite a promotion of the in vitro growth rate of EF43.fgf-4 cells overexpressing timp-2, the in vivo tumor growth was delayed. At day 17 post-cell injection, the volume of tumor derived from TIMP-2-overexpressing cells was reduced by 80% as compared with that obtained with control cells. Overexpression of TIMP-2 was associated with a down-regulation of VEGF expression in vitro and in vivo, a reduction of vessel size, density, and blood supply in the induced tumors. In addition, TIMP-2 completely inhibited the angiogenic activity of EF43.fgf-4 cell-conditioned medium in vitro using a rat aortic ring model. Our findings suggest that overexpression of TIMP-2 delays growth and angiogenesis of mammary carcinoma in vivo and that down-regulation of VEGF expression may play an important role in this TIMP-2-mediated antitumoral and antiangiogenic effects. Finally the in vivo delivery of TIMP-2, as assessed by i.v. injection of recombinant adenoviruses vectors, significantly reduced the growth of the EF43.fgf-4-induced tumors. This effect of TIMP-2 was shown to be equally comparable with that of angiostatin, a known potent inhibitor of angiogenesis.