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Br J Haematol. 2001 May;113(2):296-304.

Increased bone marrow vascularization in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia: a possible role for vascular endothelial growth factor.

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1
Division of Paediatric Oncology and Haematology, Department of Paediatrics, Beatrix Children's Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands. e.de.bont@bkk.azg.nl

Abstract

The present study demonstrated that the vessel number in bone marrow biopsies from acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patients (n = 23) was significantly increased at diagnosis compared with normal bone marrow (P = 0.019) and was restored to normal levels after achieving complete remission (P = 0.03). The in vitro angiogenic potential of culture supernatant of AML cells was assessed using endothelial cell (EC) migration and proliferation assays. Increased EC migration and EC proliferation was induced in 7/20 and 19/20 AML supernatents respectively. The degree of in vivo neovascularization did not correlate with the ability of AML cells to stimulate in vitro endothelial cell migration and/or proliferation. This might be in part a result of the heterogeneous pattern of angiogenic factors produced by AML cells. The expression of different angiogenic factors was studied using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Cells from 17/20 AML patients showed wide variation in spontaneous vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, 4/19 expressed varied spontaneous blastic fibroblast growth factor mRNA levels and all patient samples showed spontaneous interleukin 8 mRNA expression. All AML samples expressed matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and/or MMP-9. VEGF mRNA expression correlated well with protein level (P = 0.006). A correlation was found between the degree of VEGF expression and neoangiogenesis (correlation coefficient = 0.448, P = 0.05). These results suggest that malignant cell proliferation, angiogenesis and VEGF expression are linked in AML and might contribute to the growth advantage of the malignant counterpart as a result of the paracrine production of growth factors produced by the surrounding endothelial cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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