Normal, viral transformed, and tumor-derived cells grown in tissue culture and representing different species were tested for their ability to produce an extracellular tumor angiogenesis factor (TAF). TAF was assayed by measuring the host-mediated vascular response of the chorioallantoic membrane to TAF preparations. All of the viral transformed and tumor-derived cells tested, including SVT2, SVW126, Walker 256 rat carcinoma, B-16 mouse melanoma, human glioblastoma, and human meningioma cells, produced TAF.

The potency of the TAF preparations, as measured by the number of cells needed to induce a positive vascular response on the chorioallantoic membrane, varied from cell line to cell line. The most potent cells tested were the glioblastoma and meningioma brain tumor cells. Since these brain tumors are found to be the most highly vascularized tumors in vivo, it was concluded that a correlation exists between the vascularity of a tumor in vivo and the potency of TAF in vitro.

There was no detectable angiogenesis activity induced by density-inhibited BALB/c primary mouse embryo or early-passage human skin fibroblasts, even when relatively large numbers of cells were used to make a sample. However, density-inhibited BALB/c 3T3 and W138 human embryonic lung fibroblasts, two cell lines widely regarded as demonstrating “normal” growth behavior in culture, produced TAF. From these and other observations, it was suggested that BALB/c 3T3 and W138 are not fully “normal” cells. Furthermore, it was suggested that the production of TAF is an early event in the cell transformation process that precedes the loss of density inhibition of growth in vitro.


Supported by National Cancer Institute Grants CA-14019 and CB-43942.

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