Objective Tumor-associated neoangiogenesis (TAN) is an early event in ovarian tumor development. Interleukin 16 (IL-16) is a proangiogenic cytokine that stimulates production of neoangiogenic factors. The goal of this study was to determine the association of IL-16 with tumor development and ovarian TAN in laying hens, an animal model of spontaneous ovarian cancer (OVCA).
Methods Sera and ovarian tissues from 3-year-old laying hens were collected and processed for histopathologic, immunoassay, immunohistochemistry, immunoblotting, and molecular biological studies to determine the tissue expression and serum levels of IL-16. Samples were divided into 3 groups based on the diagnosis of the histopathologic ovarian tissue examination, namely, normal (healthy control, n = 81), early (n = 23 including 11 with microscopic OVCA), and late stages (n = 16) of OVCA.
Results Serum levels of IL-16 were significantly higher in hens with microscopic, early, and late stages of OVCA than normal hens (P < 0.0001). The frequencies of IL-16+cells in tumor-bearing ovaries were significantly higher than normal hens (P < 0.05). The expression of IL-16 protein and mRNA were stronger in tumor-bearing ovaries than normal ovaries. In addition to ovarian stroma, IL-16 was also expressed by the epithelial cells of the tumor in OVCA hens. Differences in serum levels and ovarian IL-16 expression were not significant among different histological subtypes of OVCA including serous, endometrioid, and mucinous. Similar to the serum levels and ovarian expression of IL-16, the densities of neoangiogenic microvessels were significantly higher in hens with tumor-bearing ovaries than normal hens.
Conclusions The results of the study suggest that changes in serum levels of IL-16 are associated with tumor development and TAN. Thus, serum IL-16 levels may be an indicator of ovarian TAN at the early stage of OVCA.
- Interleukin 16
- Ovarian tumor
- Tumor-associated neoangiogenesis
- Ovarian cancer
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This study was supported by the Idea Development Award from the US Department of Defense (OC#093303) and the Elmer Sylvia and Sramek Foundation (USA).
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.