Objectives: To observe the biological effect of ectopic expression of angiopoietin-1 and -2 cDNA on SMMC7721 hepatocellular carcinoma cell line and study the possible role of the angiopoietin gene in the growth or metastasis of implantation carcinoma.
Methods: Angiopoietin-1 and -2 cDNA were subcloned into the pcDNA3 vector and subsequently transfected into a human SMMC7721 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell line without detectable angiopoietin gene expression before transfection. Then HCC cells were injected subcutaneously into 30 nude mice and the tumor growth speed and amount of newborn vasculature in the HE stained tissue were observed every 2 days till 3 weeks or the death of animals.
Results: The tumor grew faster with angiopoietin-2 expression; much more blood vessels were seen in the tumor tissue than that without angiopoietin-2 expression. Angiopoietin-1 gene expression seems to have no obvious effect on the increase of vasculature and tumor growth.
Conclusions: The angiopoietin gene may play a role in the growth and progression of HCC and angiopoietin-2 seems to promote the angiogenesis of the tumor.