Objective: In this study, we inhibited the expression of VEGF by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) in SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells in vitro and in vivo to explore the antitumor efficacy of shRNA in ovarian cancer cells. Methods: ShRNA targeting VEGF was cloned into pGenesil-2 plasmid vector and then transfected into SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells using liposome. Silencing of VEGF expression was measured by RT-PCR and ELISA assays. Furthermore, the growth inhibition capacity of shRNA on SKOV3 intraperitoneal ovarian carcinomatosis was tested in nude mice. Tumor weight was measured. Microvessel density, number of apoptotic cells and proliferation index in tumor tissues were assessed by CD31, TUNEL and PCNA immunostaining. Results: shRNA targeting VEGF significantly silenced VEGF expression in SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells, confirmed by RT-PCR and ELISA assays (p < 0.05). In vivo, the shRNA reduced tumor weight by ∼60.3% compared with control groups (p < 0.05), accompanied with angiogenesis inhibition (p < 0.01) and apoptosis induction (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Our data indicated that shRNA-mediated silencing of VEGF might be a promising therapeutic strategy against ovarian cancer by reducing angiogenesis and inducing apoptosis.

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