Inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase-9 reduces in vitro invasion and angiogenesis in human microvascular endothelial cells

Int J Oncol. 2004 Nov;25(5):1407-14.


The expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), particularly MMP-9, is significantly increased during tumor progression and is thought to play a major role in mediating angiogenic process. Since microvasculature plays an important role in controlling tumor growth, we investigated the effects of MMP-9 inhibition on endothelial cell migration and tube formation, two determinants of angiogenesis. Adenoviral-mediated MMP-9 downregulation inhibited endothelial cell migration in cell wounding and spheroid migration assays. To determine the effects of MMP-9 reduction in glioblastoma/endothelial co-cultures, we used a three-dimensional co-culture assay of glioblastoma spheroids and endothelial spheroids. Untreated controls showed invasion of both cell populations into each other whereas treatment of the co-cultures with adenoviral antisense MMP-9 particles resulted in reduced invasion. Next, inhibition of MMP-9 by adenoviral vectors in endothelial cells was assessed for in vitro capillary-like structure formation either by co-culture with glioblastoma cells or exposure to glioblastoma-conditioned medium. Addition of conditioned medium from human glioblastoma cells to endothelial cells treated with antisense MMP-9 adenoviral vectors or co-cultures of glioblastoma cell lines with MMP-9-reduced endothelial cells resulted in reduced capillary-like tube formation demonstrating the key role of MMP-9 in endothelial cell network organization. Examination of in vitro capillary-like tube structure formation using Matrigel showed a significant decrease in MMP-9 downregulated endothelial cells as compared to controls. In conclusion, the inhibition of MMP-9 is required for inhibition of endothelial cell migration and tube formation and is likely to be of importance in cerebral angiogenesis for therapeutic targets.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Endothelial Cells / pathology
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology*
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Glioblastoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / biosynthesis*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / pharmacology*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9