Aspirin Affects Tumor Angiogenesis and Sensitizes Human Glioblastoma Endothelial Cells to Temozolomide, Bevacizumab, and Sunitinib, Impairing Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-Related Signaling

Stefania Elena Navone, Laura Guarnaccia, Chiara Cordiglieri, Francesco Maria Crisà, Manuela Caroli, Marco Locatelli, Luigi Schisano, Paolo Rampini, Monica Miozzo, Nicla La Verde, Laura Riboni, Rolando Campanella, Giovanni Marfia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and fatal human brain tumor, with the worst prognosis. The aberrant microenvironment, enhanced by the activation of proangiogenic mediators such as hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and their downstream effectors, sustain GBM malignancy. Proangiogenic signaling represents an attractive chemotherapeutic target. Recent evidence suggests a therapeutic benefit from aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, or ASA) intake in reducing risk and cancer progression. Methods: In the present study, human primary GBM–endothelial cells (ECs) were used to ascertain whether ASA could inhibit angiogenesis and improve cell sensitivity to drugs. The impact of ASA was observed by measuring cell viability, tube-like structure formation, migration, VEGF production, and proliferative, proangiogenic, and apoptotic modulators expression, such as HIF-1α/VEGF/vascular endothelial growth factor receptor/(VEGFR)-1/VEGFR-2, Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase/extracellular signal–regulated kinase, phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT signaling axis, and Bcl-2-associated X protein/B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) ratio. Furthermore, we evaluated the effect of ASA alone or in combination with temozolomide (TMZ), bevacizumab (BEV), and sunitinib (SUN). Results: Our data reported that ASA affected GBM-EC viability, tube-like structure formation, cell migration, and VEGF releasing in a dose-dependent manner and that combined treatments with TMZ, BEV, and SUN synergized to counteract proangiogenic cell ability. mRNA expression analysis displayed a marked effect of ASA in reducing VEGF, VEGFR-1, HIF-1α, RAS, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase, AKT, and BCL-2, as well a combined anticancer effect of ASA together with TMZ, BEV, and SUN. Levels of HIF-1α, VEGFR-2, Bcl-2-associated X protein, and BCL-2 protein expression confirmed a positive trend. Conclusions: ASA and antiangiogenic therapies showed synergetic anticancer efficacy in human primary GBM-ECs. Thus, the combination of conventional chemotherapy with ASA may offer a new strategy to counteract tumor malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e380-e391
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Volume120
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Angiogenesis
  • Aspirin
  • Endothelial cells
  • Glioblastoma
  • HIF-1α
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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