Research Papers:

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells contribute to A2B adenosine receptor-induced VEGF production and angiogenesis in a mouse melanoma model

Claudia Sorrentino, Lucio Miele, Amalia Porta, Aldo Pinto and Silvana Morello _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:27478-27489. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.4393

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Claudia Sorrentino1, Lucio Miele2, Amalia Porta1, Aldo Pinto1, Silvana Morello1

1Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Fisciano SA, Italy

2Department of Genetics, School of Medicine, LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Correspondence to:

Silvana Morello, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: A2B adenosine receptor, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, tumor angiogenesis, melanoma

Received: April 20, 2015     Accepted: June 15, 2015     Published: June 25, 2015


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an angiogenic factor critically involved in tumor progression. Adenosine A2B receptor plays a pivotal role in promoting tumor growth. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in the pro-angiogenic effects of A2B and to determine whether A2B blockade could enhance the effectiveness of anti-VEGF treatment. Mice treated with Bay60-6583, a selective A2B receptor agonist, showed enhanced tumor VEGF-A expression and vessel density. This effect was associated with accelerated tumor growth, which could be reversed with anti-VEGF treatment. Bay60-6583 increased the accumulation of tumor CD11b+Gr1+ cells. Depletion of MDSCs in mice significantly reduced A2B-induced VEGF production. However, A2B receptor stimulation did not directly regulate VEGF expression in isolated tumor myeloid cells. Mechanistically, Bay60-6583-treated melanoma tissues showed increased STAT3 activation. Inhibition of STAT3 significantly decreased the pro-tumor activity of Bay60-6583 and reduced tumor VEGF expression.

Pharmacological blockade of A2B receptor with PSB1115 significantly reduced tumor growth by inhibiting tumor angiogenesis and increasing T cells numbers within the tumor microenvironment. These effects are, at least in part, dependent on impaired tumor accumulation of Gr1+ cells upon A2B receptor blockade. PSB1115 increased the effectiveness of anti-VEGF treatment.

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