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Int J Exp Pathol. 2011 Oct;92(5):340-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2613.2011.00777.x. Epub 2011 Jun 7.

Platelet-derived growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor receptor-α expression in the normal human thymus and thymoma.

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  • 1Department of Histology, Victor Babeş University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timişoara, Romania.


Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and its receptors (PDGFRs) are strongly involved in the normal development of several organs, tumour angiogenesis and malignant progression and metastasis. Few studies concerning their expression, distribution and role in normal and pathological human thymus are available in the literature. The aim of this study has been to analyse the immunohistochemical expression of PDGF and PDGFR-α in prenatal and postnatal normal human thymus and thymomal biopsy specimens. The results demonstrated immunoreactivity to both PDGF and PDGFR-α in all specimens, but the intensity, distribution and number of positive cells were different in normal thymus and thymomas, and also among different tumour types. PDGF and PDGFR-α were weakly expressed in foetal and postnatal humans with a different distribution between cortex and medulla in both blood vessels and epithelial cells, whereas they were overexpressed in thymoma, especially in type B2 and B3, in the tumour epithelial cells. Overall, these data suggest that PDGF and PDGFR-α may be involved in the pathophysiology of the human thymus.

© 2011 The Authors. International Journal of Experimental Pathology © 2011 International Journal of Experimental Pathology.

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