Imaging of angiogenesis of human umbilical vein endothelial cells by uptake of exosomes secreted from hepatocellular carcinoma cells

Hiroshi Yukawa, Kaoru Suzuki, Keita Aoki, Tomoko Arimoto, Takao Yasui, Noritada Kaji, Tetsuya Ishikawa, Takahiro Ochiya, Yoshinobu Baba

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a typical hyper-vascular tumor, so the understanding the mechanisms of angiogenesis in HCC is very important for its treatment. However, the influence of the exosomes secreted from HCC cells (HCC-exosomes) on angiogenesis remains poorly understood. We herein examined the effects of the exosomes secreted from HepG2 cells (HepG2-exosomes) on the lumen formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) by the imaging of angiogenesis. The degree of lumen formation of HUVECs was dependent on the number of HepG2-exosomes. The HepG2-exosomes expressed NKG2D, an activating receptor for immune cells, and HSP70, a stress-induced heat shock protein associated with angiogenesis through the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor. In addition, the HepG2-exosomes contained several microRNAs (miRNAs) reported to exist in the serum of HCC patients. These results suggest that the HCC-exosomes play an important role in angiogenesis. Further studies on the function of HCC-exosomes may provide a new target for HCC treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6765
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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