Angiogenic potential of malignant and non-malignant human breast tissues in an in vivo angiogenesis model

Int J Cancer. 1998 Jul 29;77(3):455-9. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0215(19980729)77:3<455::aid-ijc23>;2-5.


Tumors need to acquire an angiogenic phenotype for outgrowth and metastasis formation. Limited information on the angiogenic potential of specific tissues, especially human breast tissues is available. Here we describe an in vivo model, using the dorsal skin fold chamber in immunodeficient nude mice, where various tissues of human breast origin were xenografted and evaluated for their angiogenesis-inducing potential. We found that angiogenesis was abundantly induced by all breast carcinoma tissue samples. Similar angiogenesis was induced by tissue samples from breasts with hyperplasia and apocrine metaplasia. Histologically normal tissues adjacent to the tumor induced angiogenesis in 66% of the cases. Angiogenesis was not induced by control tissues from normal healthy breasts, obtained after cosmetic breast reduction. Angiogenesis induction parallelled VEGF production by the tumor cells. The tissue induced neovascularization, found both around and in the human tissue, was functional since a tail vein injection of albumin-FITC revealed positive tumor microcirculation within 5 min, while the tumor tissue still consisted of vital human epithelial cells after 14 days.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast / blood supply*
  • Breast / cytology
  • Breast / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / blood supply
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / blood supply
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / parasitology
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia
  • Metaplasia
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous