Mobilization of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) from the bone marrow and their subsequent participation in neovessel formation are implicated in tumor growth and neovascularization. As the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) modulates adult endothelial cell function, we hypothesized that DA might have a regulatory role in mobilization of EPCs from the bone marrow niche. We show that there was a significant decrease in bone marrow DA content and an increase in EPC mobilization in tumor-bearing mice associated with tumor neovascularization. DA treatment of tumor-bearing mice inhibited EPC mobilization and tumor growth through its D2 receptors, as DA treatment failed to inhibit EPC mobilization in tumor-bearing mice treated with a specific DA D2 receptor antagonist and in tumor-bearing mice lacking the D2 receptor. In addition, we found that DA, through D2 receptors, exerted its inhibitory effect on EPC mobilization through suppression of VEGFA-induced ERK1/ERK2 phosphorylation and MMP-9 synthesis. These findings reveal a new link between DA and EPC mobilization and suggest a novel use for DA and D2 agents in the treatment of cancer and other diseases involving neovessel formation.
Debanjan Chakroborty, Uttio Roy Chowdhury, Chandrani Sarkar, Rathindranath Baral, Partha Sarathi Dasgupta, Sujit Basu