• angiogenesis;
  • aspirin;
  • cyclooxygenase-2;
  • sodium salicylate

Summary.  To determine whether aspirin and salicylate suppress colon cancer cell-mediated angiogenesis, we evaluated the effects of aspirin and sodium salicylate on endothelial tube formation on Matrigel. Aspirin and sodium salicylate concentration-dependently inhibited human endothelial cell (EC) tube formation induced by conditioned medium collected from DLD-1, HT-29 or HCT-116 colon cancer cells. Aspirin and sodium salicylate at pharmacological concentrations were equally effective in blocking tube formation. Neutralizing antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antibodies blocked colon cancer medium-induced tube formation. VEGF receptor 2 but not receptor 1 antibodies inhibited tube formation to a similar extent as anti-VEGF antibodies. These results indicate that VEGF interaction with VEGF receptor 2 is the primary mechanism underlying colon cancer-induced angiogenesis. Aspirin or sodium salicylate inhibited VEGF-induced tube formation in a concentration-dependent manner comparable to that of inhibition of colon cancer medium-induced endothelial tube formation. It has been shown that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is pivotal in cancer angiogenesis. We found that colon cancer medium-induced COX-2 protein expression in EC and aspirin or sodium salicylate suppressed the cancer-induced COX-2 protein levels at concentrations correlated with those that suppressed endothelial tube formation. Furthermore, aspirin and sodium salicylate inhibited COX-2 expression stimulated by VEGF. These findings indicate that aspirin and other salicylate drugs at pharmacological concentrations inhibit colon cancer-induced angiogenesis which is correlated with COX-2 suppression.