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Am J Pathol. 1996 Mar;148(3):763-75.

Vascular growth factors and receptors in capillary hemangioblastomas and hemangiopericytomas.

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Neurobiology Laboratory, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Capillary hemangioblastomas and hemangiopericytomas are highly vascular central nervous system tumors of controversial origin. Of interest in their pathogenesis are mechanisms regulating endothelial cell growth. The endothelial cell mitogen vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) stimulates angiogenesis, and together with its two receptor tyrosine kinases VEGFR-1(FLT1) and VEGFR-2(KDR), is up-regulated during the malignant progression of gliomas. We have analyzed the expression of VEGF and its receptors, the related placental growth factor (PlGF) and the endothelial receptors FLT4 and Tie by in situ hybridization in capillary hemangioblastomas and hemangiopericytomas. VEGF mRNA was up-regulated in all of the hemangiopericytomas studied and highly expressed in the stromal cells of hemangioblastomas. In addition, some hemangioblastoma tumor cells expressed high levels of PlGF. Significantly elevated levels of Tie mRNA, Tie protein, VEGFR-1, and VEGFR-2 but not FLT4 mRNAs were observed in the endothelia of both tumor types. In hemangioblastomas, however, the receptors were also highly expressed by a subpopulation of stromal cells. Consistent results were obtained for a human hemangioblastoma cell line in culture. Up-regulation of the endothelial growth factors and receptors may result in autocrine or paracrine stimulation of endothelial cells and their precursors involved in the genesis of these two vascular tumors.

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