Hospicells (ascites-derived stromal cells) promote tumorigenicity and angiogenesis

Marlene Pasquet, Muriel Golzio, Eliane Mery, Arash Rafii, Nadia Benabbou, Pezhman Mirshahi, Isabelle Hennebelle, Philippe Bourin, Ben Allal, Justin Teissie, Massoud Mirshahi, Bettina Couderc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)


The microenvironment is known to play a dominant role in cancer progression. Cells closely associated with tumoral cells, named hospicells, have been recently isolated from the ascites of ovarian cancer patients. Whilst these cells present no specific markers from known cell lineages, they do share some homology with bone marrow-derived or adipose tissue-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (CD9, CD10, CD29, CD146, CD166, HLA-1). We studied the role of hospicells in ovarian carcinoma progression. In vitro, these cells had no effect on the growth of human ovarian carcinoma cell lines OVCAR-3, SKOV-1 and IGROV-1. In vivo, their co-injection with adenocarcinoma cells enhanced tumor growth whatever the tumor model used (subcutaneous and intraperitoneally established xenografts in athymic mice). In addition, their injection increased the development of ascites in tumor-bearing mice. Fluorescent macroscopy revealed an association between hospicells and ovarian adenocarcinoma cells within the tumor mass. Tumors obtained by coinjection of hospicells and human ovarian adenocarcinoma cells presented an increased microvascularization indicating that the hospicells could promote tumorigenicity of ovarian tumor cells in vivo via their action on angiogenesis. This effect on angiogenesis could be attributed to the increased HIF1a and VEGF expression associated with the presence of the hospicells. Collectively, these data indicate a role for these ascite-derived stromal cells in promoting tumor growth by increasing angiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2090-2101
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2010



  • Angiogenesis
  • Hospicells
  • Oncogenesis
  • Ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Pasquet, M., Golzio, M., Mery, E., Rafii, A., Benabbou, N., Mirshahi, P., Hennebelle, I., Bourin, P., Allal, B., Teissie, J., Mirshahi, M., & Couderc, B. (2010). Hospicells (ascites-derived stromal cells) promote tumorigenicity and angiogenesis. International Journal of Cancer, 126(9), 2090-2101. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijc.24886