Angiosarcomas express mixed endothelial phenotypes of blood and lymphatic capillaries: podoplanin as a specific marker for lymphatic endothelium. (9/12862)

Angiosarcomas apparently derive from blood vessel endothelial cells; however, occasionally their histological features suggest mixed origin from blood and lymphatic endothelia. In the absence of specific positive markers for lymphatic endothelia the precise distinction between these components has not been possible. Here we provide evidence by light and electron microscopic immunohistochemistry that podoplanin, a approximately 38-kd membrane glycoprotein of podocytes, is specifically expressed in the endothelium of lymphatic capillaries, but not in the blood vasculature. In normal skin and kidney, podoplanin colocalized with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3, the only other lymphatic marker presently available. Complementary immunostaining of blood vessels was obtained with established endothelial markers (CD31, CD34, factor VIII-related antigen, and Ulex europaeus I lectin) as well as podocalyxin, another podocytic protein that is also localized in endothelia of blood vessels. Podoplanin specifically immunolabeled endothelia of benign tumorous lesions of undisputed lymphatic origin (lymphangiomas, hygromas) and was detected there as a 38-kd protein by immunoblotting. As paradigms of malignant vascular tumors, poorly differentiated (G3) common angiosarcomas (n = 8), epitheloid angiosarcomas (n = 3), and intestinal Kaposi's sarcomas (n = 5) were examined for their podoplanin content in relation to conventional endothelial markers. The relative number of tumor cells expressing podoplanin was estimated and, although the number of cases in this preliminary study was limited to 16, an apparent spectrum of podoplanin expression emerged that can be divided into a low-expression group in which 0-10% of tumor cells contained podoplanin, a moderate-expression group with 30-60% and a high-expression group with 70-100%. Ten of eleven angiosarcomas and all Kaposi's sarcomas showed mixed expression of both lymphatic and blood vascular endothelial phenotypes. By double labeling, most podoplanin-positive tumor cells coexpressed endothelial markers of blood vessels, whereas few tumor cells were positive for individual markers only. From these results we conclude that (1) podoplanin is a selective marker of lymphatic endothelium; (2) G3 angiosarcomas display a quantitative spectrum of podoplanin-expressing tumor cells; (3) in most angiosarcomas, a varying subset of tumor cells coexpresses podoplanin and endothelial markers of blood vessels; and (4) all endothelial cells of Kaposi's sarcomas expressed the lymphatic marker podoplanin.  (+info)

Expression of neurotrophins and their receptors in human bone marrow. (10/12862)

The expression of neurotrophins and their receptors, the low-affinity nerve growth factor receptor (p75LNGFR) and the Trk receptors (TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC), was investigated in human bone marrow from 16 weeks fetal age to adulthood. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, all transcripts encoding for catalytic and truncated human TrkB or TrkC receptors were detected together with trkAI transcripts, whereas trkAII transcripts were found only in control nerve tissues. Transcripts for the homologue of the rat truncated TrkC(ic113) receptor were identified for the first time in human tissue. Stromal adventitial reticular cells were found immunoreactive for all neutrophin receptors. In contrast, hematopoietic cell types were not immunoreactive for p75LNGFR but showed immunoreactivity for one or several Trk receptors. TrkA immunoreactivity was found in immature erythroblasts. Catalytic TrkB immunoreactivity was observed in eosinophilic metamyelocytes and polymorphonuclear cells. Truncated TrkB immunoreactivity was found in erythroblasts and megacaryocytes. Immunoreactivity for both catalytic and truncated TrkC receptor was observed in promyelocytes, myelocytes, some polymorphonuclear cells and megacaryocytes. Neutrophin transcript levels appeared higher at fetal than at adult stages, no variation in Trk family transcript levels was observed. The local expression of neurotrophin genes suggests a wide range of paracrine and/or autocrine mode of action through their corresponding receptors within the bone marrow.  (+info)

Expression and tissue localization of membrane-type 1, 2, and 3 matrix metalloproteinases in human astrocytic tumors. (11/12862)

Three different membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MT1-, MT2-, and MT3-MMPs) are known to activate in vitro the zymogen of MMP-2 (pro-MMP-2, progelatinase A), which is one of the key MMPs in invasion and metastasis of various cancers. In the present study, we have examined production and activation of pro-MMP-2, expression of MT1-, MT2-, and MT3-MMPs and their correlation with pro-MMP-2 activation, and localization of MMP-2, MT1-MMP, and MT2-MMP in human astrocytic tumors. The sandwich enzyme immunoassay demonstrates that the production levels of pro-MMP-2 in the anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas are significantly higher than that in the low-grade astrocytomas (P<0.05 and P<0.01, respectively), metastatic brain tumors (P<0.05), or normal brains (P<0.01). Gelatin zymography indicates that the pro-MMP-2 activation ratio is significantly higher in the glioblastomas than in other astrocytic tumors (P<0.01), metastatic brain tumors (P<0.01), and normal brains (P<0.01). The quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analyses demonstrate that MT1-MMP and MT2-MMP are expressed predominantly in glioblastoma tissues (17/17 and 12/17 cases, respectively), and their expression levels increase significantly as tumor grade increases. MT3-MMP is detectable in both astrocytic tumor and normal brain tissues, but the mean expression level is approximately 50-fold lower compared with that of MT1-MMP and MT2-MMP in the glioblastomas. The activation ratio of pro-MMP-2 correlates directly with the expression levels of MT1-MMP and MT2-MMP but not MT3-MMP. In situ hybridization indicates that neoplastic astrocytes express MT1-MMP and MT2-MMP in the glioblastoma tissues (5/5 cases and 5/5 cases, respectively). Immunohistochemically, MT1-MMP and MT2-MMP are localized to the neoplastic astrocytes in glioblastoma samples (17/17 cases and 12/17 cases, respectively), which are also positive for MMP-2. In situ zymography shows gelatinolytic activity in the glioblastoma tissues but not in the normal brain tissues. These results suggest that both MT1-MMP and MT2-MMP play a key role in the activation of pro-MMP-2 in the human malignant astrocytic tumors and that the gelatinolytic activity is involved in the astrocytic tumor invasion.  (+info)

Collagenase-3 (MMP-13) is expressed by tumor cells in invasive vulvar squamous cell carcinomas. (12/12862)

Collagenase-3 (MMP-13) is a human matrix metalloproteinase specifically expressed by invading tumor cells in squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) of the head and neck. Here, we have further elucidated the role of MMP-13 in tumor invasion by examining its expression in invasive malignant tumors of the female genital tract. Using in situ hybridization, expression of MMP-13 mRNA was detected in 9 of 12 vulvar SCCs, primarily in tumor cells, but not in intact vulvar epithelium, in cervical SCCs (n = 12), or in endometrial (n = 11) or ovarian adenocarcinomas (n = 8). MMP-13 expression was especially abundant in vulvar carcinomas showing metastasis to lymph nodes and was associated with expression of membrane type 1 MMP by tumor cells and gelatinase-A (MMP-2) by stromal cells, as detected by immunohistochemistry. MMP-13 mRNAs were detected in 9 of 11 cell lines established from vulvar carcinomas and in 4 of 6 cell lines from cervical carcinomas, whereas endometrial (n = 10) and ovarian (n = 9) carcinoma cell lines were negative for MMP-13 mRNA. No correlation was detected between MMP-13 expression and p53 gene mutations in vulvar SCC cell lines. However, MMP-13 expression was detected in 5 of 6 vulvar and cervical SCC cell lines harboring HPV 16 or 68 DNA. These results show that MMP-13 is specifically expressed by malignantly transformed squamous epithelial cells, including vulvar SCC cells, and appears to serve as a marker for their invasive capacity.  (+info)

Oval cell numbers in human chronic liver diseases are directly related to disease severity. (13/12862)

The risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma is significantly increased in patients with genetic hemochromatosis, alcoholic liver disease, or chronic hepatitis C infection. The precise mechanisms underlying the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in these conditions are not well understood. Stem cells within the liver, termed oval cells, are involved in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma in animal models and may be important in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in human chronic liver diseases. The aims of this study were to determine whether oval cells could be detected in the liver of patients with genetic hemochromatosis, alcoholic liver disease, or chronic hepatitis C, and whether there is a relationship between the severity of the liver disease and the number of oval cells. Oval cells were detected using histology and immunohistochemistry in liver biopsies from patients with genetic hemochromatosis, alcoholic liver disease, or chronic hepatitis C. Oval cells were not observed in normal liver controls. Oval cell numbers increased significantly with the progression of disease severity from mild to severe in each of the diseases studied. We conclude that oval cells are frequently found in subjects with genetic hemochromatosis, alcoholic liver disease, or chronic hepatitis C. There is an association between severity of liver disease and increase in the number of oval cells consistent with the hypothesis that oval cell proliferation is associated with increased risk for development of hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic liver disease.  (+info)

Kinetics of neuroendocrine differentiation in an androgen-dependent human prostate xenograft model. (14/12862)

It was previously shown in the PC-295 xenograft that the number of chromogranin A (CgA)-positive neuroendocrine (NE) cells increased after androgen withdrawal. NE cells did not proliferate and differentiated from G0-phase-arrested cells. Here we further characterized NE differentiation, androgen receptor status, and apoptosis-associated Bcl-2 expression in the PC-295 model after androgen withdrawal to assess the origin of NE cells. PC-295 tumor volumes decreased by 50% in 4 days. Intraperitoneal bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation and MIB-1 labeling decreased to 0%, and the apoptosis was maximal at day 4. Androgen receptor expression and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) serum levels decreased rapidly within 2 days. The number of NE cells increased 6-fold at day 4 and 30-fold at day 7. Five and ten percent of the CgA-positive cells were BrdU positive after continuous BrdU labeling for 2 and 4 days, respectively. However, no MIB-1 expression was observed in CgA-positive cells. NE cells expressed the regulated secretory pathway marker secretogranin III but were negative for androgen receptor and Bcl-2. Bcl-2 expression did increase in the non-NE tumor cells. In conclusion, androgen withdrawal leads to a rapid PC-295 tumor regression and a proliferation-independent induction of NE differentiation. The strictly androgen-independent NE cells that were still present after 21 days differentiated mainly from G0-phase-arrested cells.  (+info)

Specific and innervation-regulated expression of the intermediate filament protein nestin at neuromuscular and myotendinous junctions in skeletal muscle. (15/12862)

The intermediate filament proteins nestin, vimentin, and desmin show a specific temporal expression pattern during the development of myofibers from myogenic precursor cells. Nestin and vimentin are actively expressed during early developmental stages to be later down-regulated, vimentin completely and nestin to minimal levels, whereas desmin expression begins later and is maintained in mature myofibers, in which desmin participates in maintaining structural integrity. In this study we have analyzed the expression levels and distribution pattern of nestin in intact and denervated muscle in rat and in human. Nestin immunoreactivity was specifically and focally localized in the sarcoplasm underneath neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and in the vicinity of the myotendinous junctions (MTJs), ie, in regions associated with acetylcholine receptors (AChRs). This association prompted us to analyze nestin in neurogenically and myogenically denervated muscle. Immunoblot analysis disclosed a marked overall increase of accumulated nestin protein. Similar to the extrajunctional redistribution of AChRs in denervated myofibers, nestin immunoreactivity extended widely beyond the NMJ region. Re-innervation caused complete reversion of these changes. Our study demonstrates that the expression levels and distribution pattern of nestin are regulated by innervation, ie, signal transduction into myofibers.  (+info)

Specific regional transcription of apolipoprotein E in human brain neurons. (16/12862)

In central nervous system injury and disease, apolipoprotein E (APOE, gene; apoE, protein) might be involved in neuronal injury and death indirectly through extracellular effects and/or more directly through intracellular effects on neuronal metabolism. Although intracellular effects could clearly be mediated by neuronal uptake of extracellular apoE, recent experiments in injury models in normal rodents and in mice transgenic for the human APOE gene suggest the additional possibility of intraneuronal synthesis. To examine whether APOE might be synthesized by human neurons, we performed in situ hybridization on paraffin-embedded and frozen brain sections from three nondemented controls and five Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients using digoxigenin-labeled antisense and sense cRNA probes to human APOE. Using the antisense APOE probes, we found the expected strong hybridization signal in glial cells as well as a generally fainter signal in selected neurons in cerebral cortex and hippocampus. In hippocampus, many APOE mRNA-containing neurons were observed in sectors CA1 to CA4 and the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus. In these regions, APOE mRNA containing neurons could be observed adjacent to nonhybridizing neurons of the same cell class. APOE mRNA transcription in neurons is regionally specific. In cerebellar cortex, APOE mRNA was seen only in Bergmann glial cells and scattered astrocytes but not in Purkinje cells or granule cell neurons. ApoE immunocytochemical localization in semi-adjacent sections supported the selectivity of APOE transcription. These results demonstrate the expected result that APOE mRNA is transcribed and expressed in glial cells in human brain. The important new finding is that APOE mRNA is also transcribed and expressed in many neurons in frontal cortex and human hippocampus but not in neurons of cerebellar cortex from the same brains. This regionally specific human APOE gene expression suggests that synthesis of apoE might play a role in regional vulnerability of neurons in AD. These results also provide a direct anatomical context for hypotheses proposing a role for apoE isoforms on neuronal cytoskeletal stability and metabolism.  (+info)