Vasohibin-1 (VASH1) is expressed in vascular endothelial cells stimulated by several angiogenic growth factors and displays autocrine activity to regulate angiogenesis via a negative feedback mechanism. In this study, we investigated the effect of VASH1 on ovarian cancer progression using VASH1-expressing ovarian cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. The growth ability of ovarian cancer cells engineered to express the VASH1 gene remained unchanged in vitro. However, we showed that VASH1 secretion by tumor cells inhibited the growth of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Further, animal experiments showed that VASH1 expression inhibited tumor angiogenesis and growth. In a murine model of peritoneal dissemination of ovarian cancer cells, VASH1 inhibited peritoneal dissemination and ascites, resulting in significantly prolonged survival in mice. This indicates that VASH1 exerts an antitumor effect on ovarian cancer by inhibiting angiogenesis in the tumor environment. These findings suggest that a novel therapy based on VASH1 could be a useful therapeutic strategy for ovarian cancer.
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