Inhibition of angiogenesis induces chromaffin differentiation and apoptosis in neuroblastoma

Am J Pathol. 1999 Feb;154(2):395-403. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)65286-8.


Inhibition of angiogenesis has been shown to reduce tumor growth, metastasis, and tumor microvascular density in experimental models. To these effects we would now like to add induction of differentiation, based on biological analysis of xenografted human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y, WAG rnu/rnu) treated with the angiogenesis inhibitor TNP-470. Treatment with TNP-470 (10 mg/kg s.c., n = 15) reduced the tumor growth by 66% and stereological vascular parameters (Lv, Vv, Sv) by 36-45%. The tumor cell apoptotic fraction increased more than threefold, resulting in a decrease in viable tumor cells by 33%. In contrast, the mean vascular diameter (29 microm) and the mean tumor cell proliferative index (49%) were unaffected. TNP-470-treated tumors exhibited striking chromaffin differentiation of neuroblastoma cells, observed as increased expression of insulin-like growth factor II gene (+88%), tyrosine hydroxylase (+96%), chromogranin A, and cellular processes. Statistical analysis revealed an inverse correlation between differentiation and angiogenesis. It is suggested that by inhibiting angiogenesis, TNP-470 induces metabolic stress, resulting in chromaffin differentiation and apoptosis in neuroblastoma. Such agonal differentiation may be the link between angiostatic therapy and tumor cell apoptosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chromaffin Cells / metabolism
  • Chromaffin Cells / pathology*
  • Chromogranin A
  • Chromogranins / metabolism
  • Cyclohexanes
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II / metabolism
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Neuroblastoma / blood supply*
  • Neuroblastoma / metabolism
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology
  • O-(Chloroacetylcarbamoyl)fumagillol
  • Rats
  • Rats, Nude
  • Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Chromogranin A
  • Chromogranins
  • Cyclohexanes
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • O-(Chloroacetylcarbamoyl)fumagillol