Three-Dimensional Cell Metabolomics Deciphers the Anti-Angiogenic Properties of the Radioprotectant Amifostine


Aberrant angiogenesis is a hallmark for cancer and inflammation, a key notion in drug repurposing efforts. To delineate the anti-angiogenic properties of amifostine in a human adult angiogenesis model via 3D cell metabolomics and upon a stimulant-specific manner, a 3D cellular angiogenesis assay that recapitulates cell physiology and drug action was coupled to untargeted metabolomics by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The early events of angiogenesis upon its most prominent stimulants (vascular endothelial growth factor-A or deferoxamine) were addressed by cell sprouting measurements. Data analyses consisted of a series of supervised and unsupervised methods as well as univariate and multivariate approaches to shed light on mechanism-specific inhibitory profiles. The 3D untargeted cell metabolomes were found to grasp the early events of angiogenesis. Evident of an initial and sharp response, the metabolites identified primarily span amino acids, sphingolipids, and nucleotides. Profiles were pathway or stimulant specific. The amifostine inhibition profile was rather similar to that of sunitinib, yet distinct, considering that the latter is a kinase inhibitor. Amifostine inhibited both. The 3D cell metabolomics shed light on the anti-angiogenic effects of amifostine against VEGF-A- and deferoxamine-induced angiogenesis. Amifostine may serve as a dual radioprotective and anti-angiogenic agent in radiotherapy patients.