Alteration of angiogenic patterns on B16BL6 melanoma development promoted in Matrigel

Med Mol Morphol. 2010 Mar;43(1):26-36. doi: 10.1007/s00795-009-0481-8. Epub 2010 Mar 26.


Because the progression and metastasis of solid tumors depend on their local microcirculation, we sought to characterize tumor angiogenesis three dimensionally in a highly metastatic mouse melanoma model, B16BL6 (B16), injected with Matrigel into the subcutis in the skin on the back of syngeneic C57BL/6 mice. We found that B16 with Matrigel grew significantly faster than B16 alone and had altered tumor angiogenesis. Tumor vessels apparently grew vigorously in the opposite direction of the tumor without invading the tumor mass until at least day 10 of injection. In addition, vascular branching resulted not only from sprouting as was seen in B16 without Matrigel but also from vascular splitting, either because of compression from outside the vessels or from septum formation by endothelial cells. This phenomenon was characteristic of B16 cells, but not of other tumor cells, including Lewis lung carcinoma and ASH-1 hybridoma cell lines, both of which were tested under the same conditions. The reduction in various angiogenic factors in Matrigel did not affect the angiogenic patterns and tumor growth. We hypothesize that tumor vessels may vigorously alter their angiogenic patterns in response to the local microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology
  • Collagen / pharmacology
  • Drug Combinations
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Laminin / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Melanoma, Experimental / blood supply*
  • Melanoma, Experimental / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology*
  • Proteoglycans / pharmacology


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Drug Combinations
  • Laminin
  • Proteoglycans
  • matrigel
  • Collagen