Angiogenic and angiostatic microenvironment in tumors: Role of gangliosides

Giulio Alessandri, Paolo Cornaglia-Ferraris, Pietro M. Gullino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gangliosides are important components of the cell membrane that are usually shed in the surrounding microenvironment by neoplastic cells. Gangliosides can also modulate the angiogenic response of microvessels stimulated by angiogenic factors. The experiments reported here make a contribution to the assessment of the nature of this angiogenic modulation, by demonstrating that a) GM3 gangliosides can block the proliferation of endothelium induced by neoplastic cells from human tumors of five different origins: b) this block also occurs when the endothelial cells are preincubated with GM3 and disappears when the cells are returned to a medium poor in GM3; c) in the presence of GM3 the capacity of the endothelial cells to bind to fibronectin and to collagen types I and IV was sharply reduced: d) concentrations of GM3 able to block endothelial cell growth are counteracted by addition to the medium of GT1b ganglioside. The data suggest that the prevalence of a microenvironment rich in GM3 prevents proliferation of vascular endothelium, but the appropriate presence of another ganglioside, such as GT1b, nullifies the effect. Modulation of the angiogenic response of vascular endothelium to angiogenic factors released by tumors is probably dependent on the distribution find activity of growth factor receptors on the endothelial cell surface. The nature and concentration of the gangliosides in the endothelial microenvironment have a decisive influence on this event and possibly on the progression of tumor-induced angiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-387
Number of pages5
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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