Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)/VEGF receptor (VEGFR)1 and 2 signaling is a potent activator of tumor angiogenesis. Although the expressions of VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 were initially thought to be limited to the endothelial cells, it is now known that both the receptors are expressed in tumor cells. This is the first study wherein VEGFRs-positive tumor cells are quantitatively evaluated for brain tumors with upregulated VEGF/VEGFR signaling. The percentage of VEGFRs-positive tumor cells was quantitatively evaluated in various brain tumors (10 glioblastomas, 22 neurofibromatosis type 2 [NF2]-related schwannomas, 21 sporadic schwannomas, 27 chordomas, 36 meningiomas, 29 hemangioblastomas, 11 hemangiopericytoma, and 13 ependymomas) using immunohistochemistry. VEGF-A expression was also analyzed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Double immunofluorescence staining using anti-PDGFR-β and anti-CD34 antibody, microvessel density, and vessel diameter were analyzed to evaluate the vascular characteristics. Chordomas demonstrated an extremely higher percentage of VEGFR1 and VEGFR2-positive tumor cells than other tumors. In contrast, meningiomas and hemangiopericytomas showed few VEGFRs-positive tumor cells. The percentage of positive tumor cells in chordomas, hemangioblastomas, and NF2 schwannomas was associated with clinical courses, such as shorter progression free survival, and growth speed. Glioblastomas and NF2 schwannomas showed larger tumor vessels without pericyte coverage. The present study is the first to quantitatively analyze VEGFR1- and VEGFR2- positive tumor cells in various types of refractory brain tumors. This novel parameter significantly correlated with the progressive clinical courses.
- Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry