Objectives To determine whether expression of thrombospondin-1 (TSP1), an endogenous inhibitor of angiogenesis, is downregulated during progression of uveal melanoma and whether administration of TSP1 and/or its antiangiogenic peptides attenuate tumor growth.
Methods Tyrosinase-SV40 T-antigens (Tyr Tag) transgenic mice were used for evaluation of TSP1 expression during tumor progression using immunohistological methods. The therapeutic potential of TSP1 on tumor progression was evaluated either by crossing Tyr Tag mice with a line of transgenic mice overexpressing TSP1 in the eye or by administration of TSP1-mimetic peptide with known antiangiogenic, antitumor activity. Tumor areas were measured in histological sections using Optima software (Media Cybernetics, Inc).
Results The Tyr Tag tumors from 3-week-old mice showed significant TSP1 expression, which was dramatically downregulated in tumors from 12-week-old mice. Furthermore, the development and progression of tumor was significantly delayed in Tyr Tag TSP1 transgenic mice or Tyr Tag mice receiving TSP1-mimetic peptide (100 mg/kg/d).
Conclusions Expression of TSP1 was decreased with the angiogenic switch during progression of uveal melanoma, and TSP1 and/or its antiangiogenic peptides were effective in attenuation of tumor growth.
Clinical Relevance Modulation of TSP1 expression and/or activity may be beneficial in treating uveal melanoma.