Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Pathol. 1996 Apr;148(4):1065-74.

Strong expression of kinase insert domain-containing receptor, a vascular permeability factor/vascular endothelial growth factor receptor in AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma and cutaneous angiosarcoma.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


Vascular permeability factor (VPF), also known as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), plays an important role in the angiogenesis associated with the growth of many human and animal tumors. VPF/VEGF stimulates endothelial cell growth and increases microvascular permeability by interacting with two endothelial cell tyrosine kinase receptors, KDR and flt-1. We studied 16 cases of AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), 2 cases of cutaneous angiosarcoma, and 6 cases of capillary hemangioma by in situ hybridization for expression of VPF/VEGF, KDR, and flt-1 mRNAs. We also performed immunohistochemical staining for VPF/VEGF protein in 15 cases. Tumor cells in KS and angiosarcoma strongly expressed KDR but not flt-1 mRNA. Endothelial cells in small stromal vessels in and around these tumors strongly expressed both KDR and flt-1 mRNAs. Tumor cells expressed VPF/VEGF mRNA strongly in only one case of KS, adjacent to an area of necrosis. This was also the only case in which the tumor cells stained substantially for VPF/VEGF protein. VPF/VEGF mRNA and protein were, however, strongly expressed by squamous epithelium in areas of hyperplasia and near areas of ulceration overlying tumors. VPF/VEGF mRNA was also expressed focally at lower levels by infiltrating inflammatory cells, probably macrophages. The strong expression of both KDR and flt-1 in small stromal vessels in and around tumors suggests that VPF/VEGF may be an important regulator of the edema and angiogenesis seen in these tumors. The strong expression of KDR by tumor cells in KS and angiosarcoma implies that VPF/VEGF may also have a direct effect on tumor cells. Tumor cells in four of six capillary hemangiomas strongly expressed both KDR and flt-1 mRNAs in contrast to the high level expression of only KDR observed in the malignant vascular tumors studied. Neither VPF/VEGF mRNA or protein were strongly expressed in capillary hemangiomas. VPF/VEGF and its receptors may play an important but as yet incompletely understood role in the pathogenesis of both benign and malignant vascular tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center