Angiosarcomas express mixed endothelial phenotypes of blood and lymphatic capillaries: podoplanin as a specific marker for lymphatic endothelium.
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)
Distribution of human herpesvirus-8 latently infected cells in Kaposi's sarcoma, multicentric Castleman's disease, and primary effusion lymphoma.
Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8, also called KSHV) is linked to the etiopathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD), and primary effusion lymphoma (PEL). The universal presence of HHV-8 in early KS has not yet been shown. We used a mAb (LN53) against latent nuclear antigen-1 (LNA-1) of HHV-8 encoded by ORF73 to study the distribution of the cell types latently infected by HHV-8 in patch, plaque, and nodular KS, MCD, and PEL. In early KS, HHV-8 is present in <10% of cells forming the walls of ectatic vessels. In nodular KS, HHV-8 is present in cells surrounding slit-like vessels and in >90% of spindle cells, but not in normal vascular endothelium. In addition, HHV-8 colocalizes with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 (VEGFR-3), a marker of lymphatic and precursor endothelium. In early KS lesions, VEGFR-3 is more extensively expressed than LNA-1, indicating that HHV-8 is not inducing the proliferation of VEGFR-3-positive endothelium directly. In MCD, HHV-8 is present in mantle zone large immunoblastic B cells. No staining for LNA-1 is seen in samples from multiple myeloma, prostate cancer, and angiosarcoma, supporting the absence of any etiological link between these diseases and HHV-8. (+info)
VEGFR-3 and its ligand VEGF-C are associated with angiogenesis in breast cancer.
Recently, monoclonal antibodies against the human vascular endothelial growth factor receptor VEGFR-3 were shown to provide a specific antigenic marker for lymphatic endothelium in various normal tissues. In this study we have investigated the expression of VEGFR-3 and its ligand VEGF-C in normal breast tissue and in breast tumors by immunohistochemistry. VEGFR-3 was weakly expressed in capillaries of normal breast tissue and in fibroadenomas. In intraductal breast carcinomas, VEGFR-3 was prominent in the "necklace" vessels adjacent to the basal lamina of the tumor-filled ducts. VEGF receptor 1 and 2 as well as blood vessel endothelial and basal lamina markers were colocalized with VEGFR-3 in many of these vessels. Antibodies against smooth muscle alpha-actin gave a weak staining of the necklace vessels, suggesting that they were incompletely covered by pericytes/smooth muscle cells. A highly elevated number of VEGFR-3 positive vessels was found in invasive breast cancer in comparison with histologically normal breast tissue (P < 0.0001, the Mann-Whitney test). VEGF-C was located in the cytoplasm of intraductal and invasive cancer cells. The results demonstrate that the expression of VEGFR-3 becomes up-regulated in the endothelium of angiogenic blood vessels in breast cancer. The results also suggest that VEGF-C secreted by the intraductal carcinoma cells acts predominantly as an angiogenic growth factor for blood vessels, although this paracrine signaling network between the cancer cells and the endothelium may also be involved in modifying the permeabilities of both blood and lymphatic vessels and metastasis formation. (+info)
Role of vascular endothelial growth factor C expression in the development of lymph node metastasis in gastric cancer.
Neogenesis of lymphatic vessel and lymphatic invasion is frequently found in the stroma of cancers, but the mechanisms of this phenomenon remain unclear. Vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) is known to be the only growth factor for the lymphatic vascular system, and its receptor has been identified as Flt4. To clarify the mechanism of lymphatic invasion in cancer, we studied the expression of VEGF-C and flt4 genes in gastric cancer tissues. VEGF-C mRNA was mainly expressed in primary tumors (15 of 32; 47%), but the frequency of VEGF-C mRNA expression was low in normal mucosa (4 of 32; 13%). In primary tumors, there was a significant relationship between VEGF-C and flt4 mRNA expression. In contrast, Flt4 was mainly expressed on the lymphatic endothelial cells but not in cancer cells. A strong correlation was found between VEGF-C expression and lymph node status, lymphatic invasion, venous invasion, and tumor infiltrating patterns. Cancer cells in the lymphatic vessels frequently showed intracytoplasmic VEGF-C immunoreactivity. Furthermore, there was a close correlation between VEGF-C tissue status and the grade of lymph node metastasis. Patients with high expression of VEGF-C protein had a significantly poorer prognosis than did those in low VEGF-C expression group. By the Cox regression model, depth of wall invasion, lymph node metastasis, and VEGF-C tissue status emerged as independent prognostic parameters, and the VEGF-C tissue status was ranked third as an independent risk factor for death. These results strongly suggest that cancer cells producing VEGF-C may induce the proliferation and dilation of lymphatic vessels, resulting in the development of invasion of cancer cells into the lymphatic vessel and lymph node metastasis. (+info)
Polarized vascular endothelial growth factor secretion by human retinal pigment epithelium and localization of vascular endothelial growth factor receptors on the inner choriocapillaris. Evidence for a trophic paracrine relation.
The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) maintains the choriocapillaris (CC) in the normal eye and is involved in the pathogenesis of choroidal neovascularization in age-related macular degeneration. Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF) is produced by differentiated human RPE cells in vitro and in vivo and may be involved in paracrine signaling between the RPE and the CC. We investigated whether there is a polarized secretion of VEGF by RPE cells in vitro. Also, the localization of VEGF receptors in the human retina was investigated. We observed that highly differentiated human RPE cells, cultured on transwell filters in normoxic conditions, produced two- to sevenfold more VEGF toward their basolateral side as compared to the apical side. In hypoxic conditions, VEGF-A secretion increased to the basal side only, resulting in a three- to 10-fold higher basolateral secretion. By immunohistochemistry in 30 human eyes and in two cynomolgus monkey eyes, KDR (VEGFR-2) and flt-4 (VEGFR-3) were preferentially localized at the side of the CC endothelium facing the RPE cell layer, whereas flt-1 (VEGFR-1) was found on the inner CC and on other choroidal vessels. Our results indicate that RPE secretes VEGF toward its basal side where its receptor KDR is located on the adjacent CC endothelium, suggesting a role of VEGF in a paracrine relation, possibly in cooperation with flt-4 and its ligand. This can explain the known trophic function of the RPE in the maintenance of the CC and its fenestrated permeable phenotype and points to a role for VEGF in normal eye functioning. Up-regulated basolateral VEGF secretion by RPE in hypoxia or loss of polarity of VEGF production may play a role in the pathogenesis of choroidal neovascularization. (+info)
Immunolocalisation of the VEGF receptors FLT-1, KDR, and FLT-4 in diabetic retinopathy.
AIM: To determine the spatial and temporal changes in the staining pattern of the VEGF receptors FLT-1, KDR, and the putative receptor FLT-4 during the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy. METHODS: Immunohistochemical localisation of VEGF receptors, using antibodies against FLT-1, FLT-4, and KDR, was carried out on specimens of normal human retina (n = 10), diabetic retinas (a) with no overt retinopathy (n = 12), (b) with intraretinal vascular abnormalities but no proliferative retinopathy (n = 5), (c) with active proliferative retinopathy (n = 6), and (d) with no residual proliferative retinopathy after scatter photocoagulation therapy (n = 14), and surgically excised diabetic fibrovascular membranes (n = 11). The degree and pattern of immunostaining was recorded. RESULTS: FLT-1 staining was apparent in the retinas from both non-diabetic and diabetic retinas; weak to moderate staining was generally confined to the inner nuclear layer, the ganglion cell layer, and the retinal vessels during all stages of the disease process. Staining of the retinal vessels was raised in diabetic tissue compared with non-diabetic tissue. The preretinal vessels of the diabetic subjects stained moderately to intensely for FLT-1. In contrast with FLT-1 staining minimal immunostaining for KDR was demonstrated in the non-diabetic eyes and the unlasered eyes; however, weak staining for KDR was observed in the inner nuclear layer and the ganglion cell layer of the unlasered eyes with diabetic changes. In those retinas with preretinal neovascularisation KDR immunoreactivity was moderate to intense in the intra- and preretinal vessels. However, in the excised membranes, where the vessels may have been in a quiescent state, the levels of KDR were weak to moderate. After apparently successful laser treatment KDR staining was reduced in the intraretinal vessels. Minimal FLT-4 staining was observed throughout normal eyes while weak to moderate FLT-4 staining was generally confined to the inner nuclear layer and the ganglion cell layer of the unlasered diabetic eyes. Weak to moderate levels of FLT-4 staining were observed in the intraretinal vessels except after apparently successful laser treatment where reduced levels of staining were observed. Weak to moderate staining was observed in the preretinal vessels. CONCLUSIONS: This study supports a role for FLT-1, KDR, and possibly FLT-4 in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy; however, their specific roles in the progression of the disease may differ. (+info)
Endothelial growth factor receptors in human fetal heart.
BACKGROUND: Endothelial receptor tyrosine kinases include 3 members of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) family and 2 members of the angiopoietin receptor (Tie) family. In addition, the VEGF(165) isoform binds to neuropilin-1 (NP-1), a receptor for collapsins/semaphorins. The importance of these receptors for vasculogenesis and angiogenesis has been shown in gene-targeted mice, but so far, little is known about their exact expression patterns in the human vasculature. METHODS AND RESULTS: Frozen sections of human fetal heart were stained immunohistochemically with receptor-specific monoclonal (VEGFR, Tie) or polyclonal (NP-1) antibodies. The following patterns were observed: The endocardium was positive for VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, NP-1, Tie-1, and Tie-2 but negative for VEGFR-3. The coronary vessels were positive for Tie-1, Tie-2, VEGFR-1, and NP-1 and negative for VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3. Myocardial capillaries and epicardial blood vessels stained for VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, NP-1, and Tie-1; myocardial capillaries and epicardial veins weakly for Tie-2; and epicardial lymphatic vessels for VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3, weakly for Tie-1 and Tie-2, but not for VEGFR-1 or NP-1. CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrate differential expression of the endothelial growth factor receptors in distinct types of vessels in the human heart. This information is useful for the understanding of their roles in physiological and pathological processes and for their diagnostic and therapeutic application in cardiovascular medicine. (+info)
c-fos-induced growth factor/vascular endothelial growth factor D induces angiogenesis in vivo and in vitro.
c-fos-induced growth factor/vascular endothelial growth factor D (Figf/Vegf-D) is a secreted factor of the VEGF family that binds to the vessel and lymphatic receptors VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3. Here we report that Figf/Vegf-D is a potent angiogenic factor in rabbit cornea in vivo in a dose-dependent manner. In vitro Figf/Vegf-D induces tyrosine phosphorylation of VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3 in primary human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and in an immortal cell line derived from Kaposi's sarcoma lesion (KS-IMM). The treatment of HUVECs with Figf/Vegf-D induces dose-dependent cell growth. Figf/VEGF-D also induces HUVEC elongation and branching to form an extensive network of capillary-like cords in three-dimensional matrix. In KS-IMM cells Figf/Vegf-D treatment results in dose-dependent mitogenic and motogenic activities. Taken together with the previous observations that Figf/Vegf-D expression is under the control of the nuclear oncogene c-fos, our data uncover a link between a nuclear oncogene and angiogenesis, suggesting that Figf/Vegf-D may play a critical role in tumor cell growth and invasion. (+info)