Schwann cell-conditioned medium inhibits angiogenesis

Donghui Huang, J. Lynn Rutkowski, Garrett M. Brodeur, Pauline M. Chou, Janet L. Kwiatkowski, Angela Babbo, Susan L. Cohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Neuroblastomas are biologically heterogeneous tumors that consist of two main cell populations: neuroblastic/ganglionic cells and Schwann cells. The amount of Schwannian stroma strongly impacts prognosis, and favorable outcome is associated with tumors that are Schwannian stroma rich/stroma dominant. At the present time, there is controversy regarding the origin of Schwann cells in neuroblastama tumors. However, recent studies have suggested that the Schwann cells in mature neuroblastoma tumors may be normal cells that produce soluble substances that enhance the survival and differentiation of neuroblastoma cell lines. Previously, we reported that in neuroblastoma, high vascular index correlated with clinically aggressive disease. In contrast, tumors with favorable histology and abundant Schwannian stroma had low tumor vascularity. As a first step toward investigating whether Schwann cells also play a role in inhibiting angiogenesis in neuroblastoma tumors, we examined the ability of conditioned medium collected from normal human Schwann cells to affect basic fibroblast growth factor- and vascular endothelial growth factor-induced endothelial cell proliferation and migration and in vivo angiogenesis. In vitro angiogenesis assays were also performed with conditioned medium collected from Schwann cells derived from a Schwannian stroma-dominant neuroblastoma tumor. Our results indicate that Schwann cells derived from either adult nerve or tumor tissue produce a potent inhibitor(s) of angiogenesis. Expression studies revealed tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-2 in conditioned medium collected from both normal and tumor-derived Schwann cells. In addition, TIMP-2 was detected in the cytoplasm of Schwann cells and ganglion cells in stroma-rich/stroma-dominant neuroblastoma tumors by immunohistochemistry studies. We postulate that the low level of vascularity and more benign clinical behavior of Schwannian stroma-rich/stroma-dominant neuroblastoma tumors result from the Schwann cell production of TIMP-2 and/or other inhibitors of angiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5966-5971
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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