Serum-free conditioned medium derived from confluent monolayer cultures of malignant human astroglial tumors contains a substance that rapidly increases capillary vascular permeability after intradermal injection into guinea pigs. Accumulation of vascular permeability factor (VPF) activity occurs with increasing duration of tumor incubation in vitro. Expression of this activity is inhibited by incubation of cell cultures with cycloheximide or dexamethasone. This VPF is an acid-stable heat-labile macromolecule that is inactivated by trypsin and pepsin and binds immobilized heparin. Activity is retained by ultrafiltration with 30,000-dalton cut-off microconcentrators. Pretreatment of test animals with systemic dexamethasone prior to intradermal injection of VPF diminishes microvascular permeability. Furthermore, VPF activity is not inhibited by anti-histamines. Secretion of VPF may cause the vasogenic brain edema that is frequently associated with malignant primary and metastatic intracerebral tumors. Inhibition by dexamethasone of both VPF expression in tissue culture, and VPF activity at the microvascular level in test animals, is in keeping with the known efficacy of this agent in treating the vasogenic edema associated with brain tumors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology