Chemotherapy and antiangiogenesis: drug-specific effects on microvessel sprouting

APMIS. 2003 Nov;111(11):995-1003. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0463.2003.apm1111102.x.


Tumors are angiogenesis dependent. Some chemotherapeutics have been shown to be able to suppress angiogenesis and thus tumor growth in vivo at low, well-tolerated doses. Not much is known about the angiogenesis-modulating effects of chemotherapeutics in vivo, however. Microvessel sprouting is inherent to angiogenesis. Using the rat mesentery assay, we studied the effect of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and paclitaxel at a low, atoxic dose on the number of sprouts per unit tissue volume (No. SP) and their length (Le. SP) at the edge of the expanding network in VEGF165-mediated angiogenesis. A single dose of each cytotoxic drug was administered i.v. 7 days before the animals were sacrificed. Cyclophosphamide significantly lengthened the shortest Le. SP and shortened the longest Le. SP, doxorubicin did not significantly affect Le. SP, whereas paclitaxel significantly shortened both the shortest and the longest Le. SP. No correlation was found between the present results and the distinctly drug-specific results of microvessel segment number and length analyzed within central parts of the same expanding network. To our knowledge, this is the first quantitative report on the effect of chemotherapy on angiogenesis sprouting in vivo. Collectively, the data suggest that cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and paclitaxel at a non-toxic dose primarily target different intrinsic components of the angiogenic cascade, leading to distinctly drug-specific effects.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / pharmacology*
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology*
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Mesentery / anatomy & histology
  • Mesentery / drug effects
  • Microcirculation / anatomy & histology
  • Microcirculation / drug effects
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / drug effects*
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Paclitaxel