Purpose: Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) promotes cancer cell survival and tumor progression. The specific role played by HIF-1 and tumor-stromal interactions toward determining tumor resistance to radiation treatment remains undefined. We applied a multimodality preclinical imaging platform to mechanistically characterize tumor response to radiation, with a focus on HIF-1-dependent resistance pathways.
Methods: C6 glioma and HN5 human squamous carcinoma cells were stably transfected with a dual HIF-1 signaling reporter construct (dxHRE-tk/eGFP-cmvRed2XPRT). Reporter cells were serially interrogated in vitro before and after irradiation as monolayer and multicellular spheroid cultures and as subcutaneous xenografts in nu/nu mice.
Results: In vitro, single-dose irradiation of C6 and HN5 reporter cells modestly impacted HIF-1 signaling in normoxic monolayers and inhibited HIF-1 signaling in maturing spheroids. In contrast, irradiation of C6 or HN5 reporter xenografts with 8 Gy in vivo elicited marked upregulation of HIF-1 signaling and downstream proangiogenic signaling at 48 hours which preceded recovery of tumor growth. In situ ultrasound imaging and dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI indicated that HIF-1 signaling followed acute disruption of stromal vascular function. High-resolution positron emission tomography and dual-contrast DCE-MRI of immobilized dorsal skin window tumors confirmed postradiotherapy HIF-1 signaling to spatiotemporally coincide with impaired stromal vascular function. Targeted disruption of HIF-1 signaling established this pathway to be a determinant of tumor radioresistance.
Conclusions: Our results illustrate that tumor radioresistance is mediated by a capacity to compensate for stromal vascular disruption through HIF-1-dependent proangiogenic signaling and that clinically relevant vascular imaging techniques can spatially define mechanisms associated with tumor irradiation. Mol Cancer Res; 9(3); 259-70. (C) 2011 AACR.
- Inducible factor 1
- Contrast enhanced sonography
- Magnetic resonance
- Cancer therapy
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Inhibitor PX-478
- Gene expression