Endothelial cell migration is a critical event during angiogenesis, and inhibitors of cell motility can affect the angiogenic process. Paclitaxel (Taxol(R)), a microtubule-stabilizing antineoplastic cytotoxic drug, inhibits motility and invasiveness of several cell types. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of paclitaxel on endothelial cell functions and on angiogenesis. In vivo, paclitaxel (20-28 mg/kg i.v.) significantly inhibited the angiogenic response induced by tumor cell supernatant embedded in a pellet of reconstituted basement membrane (Matrigel) injected s.c. into C57BL/6N mice. In vitro, paclitaxel inhibited endothelial cell proliferation, motility, invasiveness, and cord formation on Matrigel in a dose-dependent manner. The antiangiogenic activity of paclitaxel was not linked to its cytotoxicity, since inhibition of endothelial cell chemotaxis and invasiveness occurred at drug concentrations which did not affect endothelial cell proliferation. Another cytotoxic drug, cisplatin, that inhibited endothelial cell proliferation in vitro, did not affect angiogenesis in vivo. These data indicate that paclitaxel has a strong antiangiogenic activity, a property that might contribute to its antineoplastic activity in vivo.

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