Background/Aims: Angiogenesis is important for the growth and progression of cancer cells. There is some evidence that the kallikrein-kinin system (KKS) is involved in cancer and angiogenesis. The present study investigated the effect of increasing concentrations of prostate and breast tumour cell metabolites on the proliferation of cultured endothelial cells, their tissue kallikrein (TK) secretion and KKS expression. Methods: Expression of TK and kinin receptors was investigated by immunochemistry, and secretion of TK by ELISA. Cell proliferation was measured by a chromogenic assay. KKS proteins were also immunolocalised in an endothelial tumour co-culture model. Results: KKS proteins were found in projections of all cell types as well as at points of heterogeneous contact. Tumour metabolites increased the secretion of TK from endothelial cells, with corresponding decreases in intracellular amounts, while also increasing proliferation of the endothelial cells. Conclusions: These findings indicate that the KKS may be one of the more important players in angiogenesis associated with prostate and breast tumours.

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