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Neoplasma. 2009;56(4):284-90.

Analysis of VEGF, Flt-1, Flk-1, nestin and MMP-9 in relation to astrocytoma pathogenesis and progression.

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Institute of pathology and Laboratory of Molecualr Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Palack√Ĺ University, Hnevotinska 3, Olomouc, CZ-775 15, Czech Republic.


Astrocytomas, particularly high grade astrocytoma, are brain tumors with potent angiogenic activity. Our immnunohistochemical study assessed vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGF receptors (Flk-1, and Flt-1), the intermediate filamental protein nestin which plays a role in central nervous system development, and MMP-9, which belongs the family of matrix metalloproteinases implicated in tumor invasion and angiogenesis regulation. We investigated the expression of VEGF, its receptors, nestin and MMP-9 in astrocytomas and their correlation with tumor grade. We used paraffin-embedded samples from 66 patients, 29 with low grade (WHO-grade II) and 37 with high grade (WHO-grade III and IV) astrocytomas. Antibodies against VEGF, Flk-1, Flt1, nestin, CD34 and MMP-9 were used, followed by standard indirect immunohistochemical methods. Expression of Flt-1 and Flk-1 showed no significant differences between low and high grade tumor groups. Expression of VEGF and MMP-9 was increased in the high grade group (p equal to or less than 0.026 and 0.024). Nestin expression in tumor astrocytes and endothelial cells increased in high grade group (p same 0.007 and 0.003). Higher expression of VEGF in high grade astrocytomas may subsequently lead to activation of survival, angiogenesis and migration. Expression of nestin and MMP-9 also suggest their likely role in astrocytoma vascular development and proliferation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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