Indexed on: 25 Mar '10Published on: 25 Mar '10Published in: Cancer Science
Bone marrow (BM) neovascularization and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in multiple myeloma (MM) correlate with disease progression. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is highly expressed by malignant plasma cells isolated from the majority of MM patients. Recently, BDNF was identified as a potential proangiogenic factor for the promotion of endothelial cell survival, induction of neoangiogenesis in ischemic tissues, and increase of VEGF expression in neuroblastoma. Since tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB), the receptor of BDNF, is expressed by stromal cells within the BM milieu, here we sought to evaluate the involvement of BDNF/TrkB in myeloma-marrow stroma interaction and its effects on BM angiogenesis. TrkB was abundantly expressed by bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) isolated from healthy donors. Stimulation of BMSCs with BDNF induced a time- and dose- dependent increase in VEGF secretion, which was completely abolished by K252alpha, an inhibitor of TrkB. BDNF triggered activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and activator protein-1 (AP-1), whereas STAT3 was involved in mediating VEGF expression. We further delineated the biological significance of BDNF in MM by using lentiviral short-interfering RNA (shRNA). When myeloma cells were cocultured with BMSCs in a noncontact Transwell system, VEGF levels in supernatants were significantly decreased when BDNF expression was knocked down. Furthermore, silencing of BDNF expression significantly inhibited xenograft tumor growth and angiogenesis, and prolonged survival in mouse model. Our studies demonstrate that BDNF, as a potential stimulator of angiogenesis, contributes to MM tumorgenesis; it mediates stromal-MM cell interactions via selective activation of specific receptor TrkB and downstream signal transducer STAT3, regulating VEGF secretion.