Human malignant gliomas are highly vascularized and aggressive tumors. Angiogenesis inhibitors have been shown to induce regression of a variety of primary and metastatic tumors in vivo. However, their usefulness in treating brain tumors is not well understood. Angiostatin, a multiple kringle (1-4 of 5)-containing fragment of plasminogen, is one of the highly effective natural cryptic angiogenesis inhibitors. In our study, the therapeutic efficacy of non-glycosylated and small molecular size recombinant kringles 1-3 (rPK1-3) was examined in the treatment of brain tumors generated by stereotactic intracerebral implantation of U-87 human glioma cells in nude mice. Mice bearing tumors 7 days post-implant were treated daily with rPK1-3 (100 mg/kg) s.c. for 21 days. Treated animals showed suppressed brain tumor growth by greater than 71.2% along with a 3-fold increase of apoptotic index and suppressed vascularization by 78.9%, without any observable signs of toxicity. Analysis of bFGF and VEGF expression in the tumors of treated animals using immuno-histochemical methods showed near complete absence of growth factors. Our results indicate that the non-glycosylated, small molecular size rPK1-3 is an efficient tumoristatic agent for the treatment of intracranial human glioma xenografts in mice and might provide new strategies for the treatment of brain tumors.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.