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Microvessel Density Is Associated with VEGF and α-SMA Expression in Different Regions of Human Gastrointestinal Carcinomas
Centro de Microscopía Electrónica “Dr. Mitsuo Ogura”, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Apdo. 76963, El Marquez, Caracas 1070, Venezuela
Instituto Anatomopatológico, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas 1070, Venezuela
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2011; in revised form: 23 August 2011 / Accepted: 25 August 2011 / Published: 31 August 2011
Abstract: Tumor angiogenesis is known to be regulated by growth factors secreted by host and tumor cells. Despite the importance of tumor vasculature and angiogenic heterogeneity in solid tumors, few studies have compared the vasculature in different regions of human cancer. Blood vessels from different regions of carcinomas might have morphofunctional implications in tumor angiogenesis. In the present study, therefore, we have examined the relationship between microvascular density (MVD) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression in the center of the tumor (CT), periphery (P) and metastasis (M) regions from gastrointestinal carcinomas (GITC), as well as the association of MVD with clinicopathological factors. Surgically resected specimens corresponding to the CT, P and M from 27 patients were examined for FVIII, VEGF and α-SMA by immunohistochemistry. The MVD was not significantly different in the CT, P and M regions from GITC. The MVD in the VEGF positive group was significantly higher than in the VEGF negative group (CT, p = 0.034; P, p = 0.030; M, p = 0.032). The MVD as a function of α-SMA expression was also significantly higher in the CT and P region compared to the M region (p = 0.0008). In conclusion, the MVD association with VEGF and α-SMA expression, might indicate an increase of the number of neoformed and preexisting blood vessels uniformly or partially covered by pericytes in different regions of GITC, suggesting that not only MVD and VEGF are important parameters to the tumor vasculature, but also blood vessels maturation is a crucial factor for gastrointestinal tumor angiogenesis regulation and possible target of vascular therapy.
Keywords: MVD; VEGF; α-SMA; center of the tumor; periphery; metastasis; gastrointestinal cancer; clinicopathological factors
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Tonino, P.; Abreu, C. Microvessel Density Is Associated with VEGF and α-SMA Expression in Different Regions of Human Gastrointestinal Carcinomas. Cancers 2011, 3, 3405-3418.
Tonino P, Abreu C. Microvessel Density Is Associated with VEGF and α-SMA Expression in Different Regions of Human Gastrointestinal Carcinomas. Cancers. 2011; 3(3):3405-3418.
Tonino, Paola; Abreu, Carmen. 2011. "Microvessel Density Is Associated with VEGF and α-SMA Expression in Different Regions of Human Gastrointestinal Carcinomas." Cancers 3, no. 3: 3405-3418.