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Ann Clin Lab Sci. 2008 Autumn;38(4):344-51.

Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in human meningiomas and peritumoral brain areas.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Jinling Hospital, School of Medicine, Nanjing University, 305 East Zhongshan Road, Nanjing 210002, PR China.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a regulator of angiogenesis, vasculogenesis, and vascular permeability. Recent reports suggest that VEGF may play a critical role in formation of peritumoral brain edema (PTBE) associated with meningiomas. While VEGF expression has been shown in meningiomas, studies have not focused on VEGF in the adjacent peritumoral brain regions. The present study examined the protein and gene expression of VEGF in human meningiomas and peritumoral brain areas. Biopsies were obtained from 37 patients. Immunohistochemical staining and immunoblotting were performed to detect the expression of VEGF protein. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to analyze the presence and quantity of VEGF mRNA. The extent of PTBE was estimated as an edema index (EI) based on preoperative magnetic resonance imaging. In meningiomas, western blot and RT-PCR results were congruent and the expression of both protein and mRNA had a significant correlation with EI. However, in peritumoral areas, western blot results were not consistent with the RT-PCR results. Protein results showed high correlation with EI, but mRNA was almost undetectable. In VEGF-positive cases, a decreasing gradient of VEGF protein expression was observed with increasing distance from tumors. These data suggest that peritumoral tissue does not produce VEGF and that VEGF protein levels in peritumoral tissues have a high correlation with EI. We conclude that VEGF macromolecules are secreted by the tumor tissue and enter peritumoral normal brain tissue to induce edema.

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