The role of host-derived tissue factor (TF) in tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis has hitherto been unclear and was investigated in this study.
Methods and Results—
We compared tumor growth, vascularity, and responses to cyclophosphamide (CTX) of tumors in wild-type (wt) mice, or in animals with TF levels reduced by 99% (low-TF mice). Global growth rate of 3 different types of transplantable tumors (LLC, B16F1, and ES teratoma) or metastasis were unchanged in low-TF mice. However, several unexpected tumor/context-specific alterations were observed in these mice, including: (1) reduced tumor blood vessel size in B16F1 tumors; (2) larger spleen size and greater tolerance to CTX toxicity in the LLC model; (3) aborted tumor growth after inoculation of TF-deficient tumor cells (ES TF
) in low-TF mice. TF-deficient tumor cells grew readily in mice with normal TF levels and attracted exclusively host-related blood vessels (without vasculogenic mimicry). We postulate that this complementarity may result from tumor-vascular transfer of TF-containing microvesicles, as we observed such transfer using human cancer cells (A431) and mouse endothelial cells, both in vitro and in vivo.
Our study points to an important but context-dependent role of host TF in tumor formation, angiogenesis and therapy.