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Increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 correlates with VEGF and microvessel density in Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms


Aims The authors investigated vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (VEGFR-1) protein expression in a series of Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (Ph- MPNs) and its correlations with microvessel density (MVD) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

Methods 83 bone marrow biopsies of Ph- MPNs patients, including 27 essential thrombocythaemia (ET), 21 polycythaemia vera (PV) and 35 primary myelofibrosis (PMF), and 10 normal controls (NCs) were investigated by immunohistochemistry.

Results Patients with PV and PMF showed an increased MVD (PV: 20.1±10.6; PMF: 25.8±6.5) compared with those with ET or NCs (ET: 10.4±4.6; NCs: 7±3.4). VEGFR-1 expression was increased in Ph- MPNs, particularly in PV and PMF (NCs: 0.07±0.03; ET: 0.15±0.09; PV: 0.31±0.2; PMF: 0.31±0.04). VEGF expression parallelled VEGFR-1 and resulted increased in Ph- MPNs (NCs: 0.08±0.04; ET: 0.13±0.06; PV: 0.29±0.2; PMF: 0.31±0.15) and higher in post-polycythaemic myelofibrosis and in the fibrotic stage of PMF than in the non-fibrotic phases of both diseases. VEGFR-1 protein expression correlated with MVD and VEGF expression in Ph- MPNs. VEGFR-1 and VEGF were expressed by the same bone marrow populations: megakaryocytes, macrophages and immature myeloid precursors showed a moderate to strong immunostaining intensity in both Ph- MPNs and NCs. The erythroid precursors were not immunoreactive.

Conclusions VEGFR-1 and VEGF were increased and co-localised in megakaryocytes, macrophages and myeloid precursors of Ph- MPNs. This finding supports the hypothesis of a VEGF/VEGFR-1 autocrine loop in the neoplastic cells of Ph- MPNs.

  • Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1
  • vascular endothelial growth factor A
  • microvessel density
  • Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms
  • bone marrow
  • angiogenesis
  • bone marrow trephines
  • haematopathology
  • immunohistochemistry

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