Lung tumorigenesis induced by human vascular endothelial growth factor (hVEGF)-A165 overexpression in transgenic mice and amelioration of tumor formation by miR-16

Yu Tang Tung, Pin Wu Huang, Yu Ching Chou, Cheng Wei Lai, Hsiu Po Wang, Heng Chien Ho, Chih Ching Yen, Chih Yen Tu, Tung Chou Tsai, Dah Cherng Yeh, Jiun Long Wang, Kowit Yu Chong, Chuan Mu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Many studies have shown that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), especially the human VEGF-A165 (hVEGF-A165) isoform, is a key proangiogenic factor that is overexpressed in lung cancer. We generated transgenic mice that overexpresses hVEGF-A165 in lung-specific Clara cells to investigate the development of pulmonary adenocarcinoma. In this study, three transgenic mouse strains were produced by pronuclear microinjection, and Southern blot analysis indicated similar patterns of the foreign gene within the genomes of the transgenic founder mice and their offspring. Accordingly, hVegf-A165 mRNA was expressed specifically in the lung tissue of the transgenic mice. Histopathological examination of the lung tissues of the transgenic mice showed that hVEGF-A165 overexpression induced bronchial inflammation, fibrosis, cysts, and adenoma. Pathological section and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analyses demonstrated a positive correlation between the development of pulmonary cancer and hVEGF expression levels, which were determined by immunohistochemistry, qRT-PCR, and western blot analyses. Gene expression profiling by cDNA microarray revealed a set of up-regulated genes (hvegf-A165, cyclin b1, cdc2, egfr, mmp9, nrp-1, and kdr) in VEGF tumors compared with wild-type lung tissues. In addition, overexpressing hVEGF-A165 in Clara cells increases CD105, fibrogenic genes (collagen α1, α-SMA, TGF-β1, and TIMP1), and inflammatory cytokines (IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α) in the lungs of hVEGF-A165-overexpressing transgenic mice as compared to wild-type mice. We further demonstrated that the intranasal administration of microRNA-16 (miR-16) inhibited lung tumor growth by suppressing VEGF expression via the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways. In conclusion, hVEGF-A165 transgenic mice exhibited complex alterations in gene expression and tumorigenesis and may be a relevant model for studying VEGFtargeted therapies in lung adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10222-10238
Number of pages17
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • miRNA therapy
  • Pulmonary tumorigenesis
  • Transgenic mice
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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