Multiple Myeloma (MM) induces bone destruction, decreases bone formation, and increases marrow angiogenesis in patients. We reported that osteocytes (Ocys) directly interact with MM cells to increase tumor growth and expression of Ocy-derived factors that promote bone resorption and suppress bone formation. However, the contribution of Ocys to enhanced marrow vascularization in MM is unclear. Since the MM microenvironment is hypoxic, we assessed if hypoxia and/or interactions with MM cells increases pro-angiogenic signaling in Ocys. Hypoxia and/or co-culture with MM cells significantly increased Vegf-a expression in MLOA5-Ocys, and conditioned media (CM) from MLOA5s or MM-MLOA5 co-cultured in hypoxia, significantly increased endothelial tube length compared to normoxic CM. Further, Vegf-a knockdown in MLOA5s or primary Ocys co-cultured with MM cells or neutralizing Vegf-a in MM-Ocy co-culture CM completely blocked the increased endothelial activity. Importantly, Vegf-a-expressing Ocy numbers were significantly increased in MM-injected mouse bones, positively correlating with tumor vessel area. Finally, we demonstrate that direct contact with MM cells increases Ocy Fgf23, which enhanced Vegf-a expression in Ocys. Fgf23 deletion in Ocys blocked these changes. These results suggest hypoxia and MM cells induce a pro-angiogenic phenotype in Ocys via Fgf23 and Vegf-a signaling, which can promote MM-induced marrow vascularization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas