Angiostatin enhances B7.1-mediated cancer immunotherapy independently of effects on vascular endothelial growth factor expression

Cancer Gene Ther. 2001 Oct;8(10):719-27. doi: 10.1038/sj.cgt.7700370.


Tumors must develop an adequate vascular network to meet their increasing demands for nutrition and oxygen. Angiostatin, a multiple kringle (1-4)-containing fragment of plasminogen, is an effective natural inhibitor of tumor angiogenesis. Here we show that gene transfer of angiostatin into small (0.1 cm in diameter) solid EL-4 lymphomas established in syngeneic C57BL/6 mice led to reduced tumor angiogenesis and weak inhibition of tumor growth. In contrast, when angiostatin gene therapy was preceded by in situ gene transfer of the T-cell costimulator B7.1, large (0.4 cm in diameter) tumors were rapidly and completely eradicated, whereas B7.1 and angiostatin monotherapies were ineffective. Combined gene transfer of B7.1 and angiostatin generated potent systemic antitumor immunity that was effective in eradicating a systemic challenge of 10(7) EL-4 cells. Gene transfer of angiostatin expression plasmids led to overexpression of angiostatin in tumors, increased apoptosis of tumor cells, and decreased density of tumor blood vessels, which may allow the immune system to overcome tumor immune resistance. The latter effects were not the result of a decrease in vascular endothelial growth factor expression, as tumoral vascular endothelial growth factor expression increased slightly after angiostatin gene transfer, presumably in response to increasing hypoxia. These results suggest that combining immunogene therapy with a vascular attack by angiostatin is a particularly effective approach for eliciting antitumor immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiostatins
  • Animals
  • B7-1 Antigen / genetics*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • DNA Primers / chemistry
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Lymphokines / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / prevention & control
  • Peptide Fragments / genetics*
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Plasminogen / genetics*
  • Plasminogen / metabolism
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Thymus Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Thymus Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Thymus Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • B7-1 Antigen
  • DNA Primers
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Angiostatins
  • Plasminogen