Identification of brain-derived neurotrophic factor as a novel angiogenic protein in multiple myeloma

Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2007 Oct 1;178(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.cancergencyto.2007.05.028.


Patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have increased bone marrow angiogenesis, but the angiogenic properties of myeloma cells and the mechanism of MM-induced angiogenesis have not been completely clarified. The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its high-affinity receptor, TrkB, have been identified as critical factors in the regulation of vessel formation. In this study, we demonstrate that patients with MM had increased BDNF and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in their peripheral blood. We also found in particular that a decreased BDNF level was correlated with the remission of MM. BDNF was expressed by the human myeloma cell line RPMI8226 and primary myeloma cells, and TrkB was expressed by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) at the protein levels. In a coculture system, we observed that both RPMI8226 cells and primary myeloma cells induced the migration and formation of a net-like structure in HUVEC. The anti-BDNF monoclonal antibody significantly but partially restrained the angiogenesis effect of MM cells. Moreover, in an experimental model of angiogenesis in vivo, BDNF and VEGF significantly promoted vessel formation in Matrigel plug compared to the control. These effects were also blocked by anti-BDNF monoclonal antibody. Finally, our in vitro results were supported by the in vivo finding in human myeloma xenograft NOD/SCID models. Anti-BDNF mAb treatment resulted in inhibition of tumor growth, decreased vessel density, and tumor necrosis. Our study suggested that the BDNF/TrkB signaling pathway could be involved, at least in part, in MM-induced angiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, SCID
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Receptor, trkB / metabolism


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Receptor, trkB