Hypoxia and the presence of human vascular endothelial cells affect prostate cancer cell invasion and metabolism

Ellen Ackerstaff, Dmitri Artemov, Robert J. Gillies, Zaver M. Bhujwalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Tumor progression and metastasis are influenced by hypoxia, as well as by interactions between cancer cells and components of the stroma, such as endothelial cells. Here, we have used a magnetic resonance (MR)-compatible invasion assay to further understand the effects of hypoxia on human prostate cancer cell invasion and metabolism in the presence and absence of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Additionally, we compared endogenous activities of selected proteases related to invasion in PC-3 cells and HUVECs, profiled gene expression of PC-3 cells by microarray, and evaluated cell proliferation of PC-3 cells and HUVECs by flow cytometry, under hypoxic and oxygenated conditions. The invasion of less-invasive DU-145 cells was not affected by either hypoxia or the presence of HUVECs. However, hypoxia significantly decreased the invasion of PC-3 cells. This hypoxia-induced decrease was attenuated by the presence of HUVECs, whereas under oxygenated conditions, HUVECs did not alter the invasion of PC-3 cells. Cell metabolism changed distinctly with hypoxia and invasion. The endogenous activity of selected extracellular proteases, although altered by hypoxia, did not fully explain the hypoxia-induced changes in invasion. Gene expression profiling indicated that hypoxia affects multiple cellular functions and pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1138-1151
Number of pages14
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Endothelial/cancer cell interaction
  • Hypoxia
  • Invasion
  • Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and spectroscopy
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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