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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Oct;85(20):7748-52.

Endothelial cell hyperplasia in human glioblastoma: coexpression of mRNA for platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) B chain and PDGF receptor suggests autocrine growth stimulation.

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  • 1Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Uppsala Branch, University Hospital, Sweden.


The genes for platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) A chain, B chain/c-sis, and the PDGF receptor are expressed in human malignant glioma cell lines. In the present investigation we have studied the expression of these genes in biopsy specimens from human glioblastomas. Hyperplasia of the vascular endothelium is a prominent characteristic of human glioblastoma multiforme and simian sarcoma virus-induced gliomas in primates. RNA transfer blot analysis of biopsies from glioblastoma multiforme showed transcripts for PDGF A and B chains and the PDGF receptor. Tissue sections from this tumor examined by in situ hybridization techniques revealed that the proliferating vascular endothelial cells contained large quantities of mRNA for PDGF B chain/c-sis and its receptor and, to a lesser extent, for PDGF A chain. In contrast, the tumor cells expressed more mRNA for PDGF A chain than for PDGF B chain and PDGF receptor. The latter two were also expressed at higher levels in glioma cells than in glial cells of nontumorous human brain tissue. Thus, an autocrine stimulation by the PDGF B chain/c-sis product via its receptor, evoked by interaction with surrounding glioma cells, could be the mechanism behind the pathological proliferation of endothelial cells characteristically found in this type of malignancy.

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