Lege Artis Medicinae

[The role of hypoxia in tissue regeneration and in development of amplified aggressive fenotypes in malignant cancer]

HUNYADI János

MARCH 20, 2015

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2015;25(03)

[Several diseases are accompanied by hypoxic stress; elimination of it is an important physiological process. Our body provides a protective function which delays damage and destruction by hypoxia. In case of necrosis, it provides the mop up of the damaged area. This security system starts the regeneration in cells of the hypoxic zone which surrounds the necrotic area, resulting in the survival of the cells in hypoxic environment and ensuring the handling of the necrosis. The key molecules of the system are the hypoxia-induced factor molecules. The review discusses the physiological role of tissue hypoxia and normoxia and its effects on tissue regeneration. The physiological system triggered by the hypoxia-induced factor plays an important role in embryonic development, in wound healing and in numerous diseases (eg. myocardial infarction, stroke, vaculities, etc). Unfortunately, this system also plays a key role in several malignant tumors by rising the development of cells with increased aggressive fenotypes as well. The physiological process of regeneration starts in the hypoxic tumor cells aided by the hypoxia-induced factor system. The process results in neovascularization, and in the case of tissue damage, in the mop up of the necrotic tissue and in the restoration of tissue oxygenisation. However, after the formation of the new vascular network, tumor cells accustomed to hypoxia will not die but keep their original uncontrolled proliferation and anaerobic nature. Moreover the malignant nature of the cells will be increased by the genetic changes generated by the system of hypoxia- induced factors. The role of the hypoxia-induced factor system in tumor progression is discussed by the example of one of the most malignant tumors, malignant melanoma.]

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