Skip to main content

01.12.2019 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 1/2019

Hypoxic exosomes facilitate angiogenesis and metastasis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma through altering the phenotype and transcriptome of endothelial cells

Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research > Ausgabe 1/2019
Yu Mao, Yimin Wang, Lixin Dong, Yunjie Zhang, Yanqiu Zhang, Chao Wang, Qiang Zhang, Sen Yang, Liyan Cao, Xinyuan Zhang, Xin Li, Zhanzhao Fu
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13046-019-1384-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



In cancer progression, hypoxia, or low oxygen tension, is a major regulator of tumor aggressiveness and metastasis. However, how cancer cells adapt to the hypoxia and communicate with other mesenchymal cells in microenvironment during tumor development remains to be elucidated. Here, we investigated the involvement of exosomes in modulating angiogenesis and enhancing metastasis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).


Differential centrifugation, transmission electron microscopy and nanoparticle tracking analysis were used to isolate and characterize exosomes. Colony formation and transwell assay were performed to assess the proliferation, migration and invasion of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). The tube formation assay and matrigel plug assay were used to evaluate the vascular formation ability of HUVECs in vitro and in vivo respectively. An in vivo nude mice model was established to detect the regulatory role of exosomes in ESCC progression. Microarray analysis was performed to analyze the transcriptome profiles in HUVECs.


Exosomes derived from ESCC cells cultured under hypoxia played a better role in promoting proliferation, migration, invasion and tube formation of HUVECs in vitro and in vivo than exosomes from ESCC cells cultured under normoxia. Moreover, hypoxic exosomes significantly enhanced the tumor growth and lung metastasis compared with normoxic exosomes in nude mice models. Interestingly, endothelial cells were programmed by hypoxic and normoxic exosomes from ESCC cells which altered the transcriptome profile of HUVECs.


Taken together, our data identified an angiogenic role of exosomes from ESCC cells which shed light on the further application of exosomes as valuable therapeutic target for ESCC.
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1/2019

Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 1/2019 Zur Ausgabe

Neu im Fachgebiet Onkologie

Mail Icon II Newsletter

Bestellen Sie unseren kostenlosen Newsletter Update Onkologie und bleiben Sie gut informiert – ganz bequem per eMail.