Complementary actions of melatonin on angiogenic factors,the angiopoietin/Tie2 axis and VEGF, in co-cultures of human endothelial and breast cancer cells
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AuthorGonzález González, Alicia; González Cabeza, Alicia Verónica; Alonso González, Carolina; Menéndez Menéndez, Javier; Martínez Campa, Carlos Manuel; Cos Corral, Samuel
Melatonin exerts oncostatic activity in breast cancer through antiangiogenic actions. There, the aim of the present study was to ascertain whether melatonin modulates, in a coordinated action, angiopoietin-1 (ANG-1), ANG-2, their cognate Tie2 receptor and VEGF in co-cultures of human endothelial cells (HUVECs) and breast cancer (MCF-7) cells. To accomplish this we used co-cultures of human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) or non-malignant human mammary epithelial cells (MCF?10A) with endothelial cells (HUVECs). The presence of breast cancer cells increased HUVEC proliferation and 1 mM melatonin prevented this effect. ANG-1, ANG-2 and VEGF levels in co-culture media and mRNA expression were upregulated and Tie2 mRNA expression was downregulated in the HUVECs and MCF-7. Melatonin (1 mM) downregulated ANG-1, ANG-2 and VEGF levels in the co-culture media and mRNA expression in both types of cells and upregulated Tie2 mRNA expression in HUVECs. ANG-1, ANG-2, Tie2 and VEGF mRNA expression were not modified during HUVEC/MCF-10A co-culture. Estradiol (10 nM) increased ANG-1, ANG-2 and VEGF mRNA expression in HUVECs and melatonin (1 mM) counteracted this effect. We conclude that melatonin simultaneously coordinates downregulation of angiopoietins with a reduction in VEGF, which could be an effective therapeutic strategy for blocking tumor angiogenesis.