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Evaluation of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 Alpha (HIF-1α) in Equine Sarcoid: An Immunohistochemical and Biochemical Study

Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, Naples University “Federico II”, Via F. Delpino 1, 80137 Naples, Italy
Department of Biology, University of Naples Federico II, MSA, 80126 Naples, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 58;
Received: 3 December 2019 / Revised: 8 January 2020 / Accepted: 9 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bovine Papillomavirus Infection)
Background: equine sarcoids are the most frequent skin tumors in equidae worldwide. It is well known that delta bovine papillomaviruses are their causative agents. We have recently shown the presence in equine sarcoids of abnormal vessel structures, which could cause a hypoxic condition. The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) in a subset of BPV positive equine sarcoids and explore the relationship with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression. Results: 80% of equine sarcoids showed strong cytoplasmic staining in >60% of neoplastic fibroblasts, while 20% of samples showed a moderate cytoplasmic staining in 40–60% of neoplastic fibroblasts for HIF-1α. Results of Western blotting (WB) were consistent with immunohistochemistry (IHC). Moreover, a positive correlation between HIF-1α and VEGF expression (r = 0.60, p < 0.01) was observed. Conclusion: we have shown that HIF-1α was strongly expressed in equine sarcoid. The upregulation of HIF-1α has been described in numerous tumors and can be modulated by many proteins encoded by transforming viruses. Thus, it is also possible that BPV could have a relevant role in HIF-1α pathway regulation, contributing to the development of equine sarcoids by promoting HIF-1α/VEGF mediated tumor angiogenesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: BPV; equine; HIF-1α; sarcoid; VEGF BPV; equine; HIF-1α; sarcoid; VEGF
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Martano, M.; Altamura, G.; Power, K.; Restucci, B.; Carella, F.; Borzacchiello, G.; Maiolino, P. Evaluation of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 Alpha (HIF-1α) in Equine Sarcoid: An Immunohistochemical and Biochemical Study. Pathogens 2020, 9, 58.

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