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Am J Pathol. 1990 Jul;137(1):85-92.

In situ detection of basic fibroblast growth factor by highly specific antibodies.

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Institute of Experimental Dermatology, University of M√ľnster, West Germany.


Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is thought to be of major importance for fibrosis and angiogenesis. Despite intensive studies dealing with the biochemistry and multiple biologic effects of bFGF, the cellular distribution is virtually unknown. Therefore, using the indirect immunoperoxidase technique, we examined the effect of bFGF on a large pattern of normal, inflammatory, and tumorous human tissues. Staining was performed on cryostat sections with a highly specific affinity-purified antiserum. In normal tissues, especially those of the thymus and placenta, mainly dendritic cells contained the growth factor. High levels of bFGF were also detected in basal cells and gland epithelial cells of skin biopsies. A conspicuous expression was observed in chronic inflammatory tissues corresponding to a generally pronounced proliferation of fibroblasts and endothelial cells in these situations. Tumors revealed a very heterogenous staining pattern. In some lesions, bFGF was predominantly present in infiltrating and endothelial cells. In several, neoplasms tumor cells exhibited an intensive staining. In some, especially vascular tumors, bFGF could not be detected. From the staining results it is concluded that angiogenesis is not simply controlled by the presence of bFGF but is mediated by a balance of several angiogenic inducers and inhibitors.

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