Coupling in vitro and in vivo paradigm reveals a dose dependent inhibition of angiogenesis followed by initiation of autophagy by C6-ceramide.
Bansode RR1, Ahmedna M, Svoboda KR, Losso JN.
The activity of N-hexanoyl-D-erythro-sphingosine, a C6-ceramide against angiogenesis was tested in vitro and in vivo. The effect of ceramide in inhibiting MCF-7 cancer cells was also determined. The aim of this study was to potentiate the effect of ceramide as anti-angiogenic compound that can regulate tumor induced angiogenesis.C6-ceramide inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) tube formation in a dose-dependent manner within 24 hours. Ceramide at concentrations between 12.5 and 25 μM inhibited the viability of MCF-7 cells and reduced VEGF-induced cell migration in 24 hours. At 50 μM, ceramide induced MCF-7 cell death via autophagy as demonstrated by accumulation of MDC in ceramide-treated MCF-7 vacuoles. The expression of VEGF was reduced and the levels of cathepsin D in MCF-7 increased. In vivo, 50 μM ceramide caused a 40% reduction of new vessel formation in the CAM assay within 24 hours. Zebrafish exposed to 100 – 400 μM ceramide had a distinct disruption of blood vessel development at 48 hours post-fertilization. Ceramide-exposed embryos also had primary motoneurons exhibiting abnormal axonal trajectories and ectopic branching. Ceramide induced cell-death was not detected in the zebrafish assay. Collectively, these data indicate that ceramide is a potent anti-angiogenic compound and that the mechanism underlying its anti-angiogenic capabilities does not rely upon the induction of apoptosis.