PEDF Has Tumor-Suppressive and Neuroprotective Functions

Pigment epithelium-derived factor has dual role in experimental brain metastases, mouse model

THURSDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) rapidly suppresses experimental brain metastases and protects the brain from tumor-induced damage in a mouse model, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of Cancer Research.

Daniel P. Fitzgerald, of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues investigated the therapeutic value of PEDF in brain metastases. Experimental brain metastasis and intracranial injection models were used to evaluate the effects of the cytokine PEDF on brain metastasis and metastasis-induced brain damage.

The researchers found that PEDF expression suppressed outgrowth of large experimental brain metastases from human or murine breast cancer cells. These suppressive effects were rapid and independent of PEDF-induced angiogenesis. Following inoculation of breast cancer cells directly into the mouse brain, there was a 3.5-fold reduction seen in the number of dying neurons adjacent to PEDF-expressing tumors, in addition to PEDF's cytotoxic effects.

"This report, to the best of our knowledge, provides the first evidence that PEDF can protect brain neurons from cancer-induced damage," the authors write. "The data prompt the exciting hypothesis that PEDF can prevent some of the neuronal and cognitive sequelae associated with the development of brain metastases, both by tumor-suppressive and neuroprotective effects."

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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