Expression and cellular localization of vascular endothelial growth factor A and its receptors in acute and chronic leukemias: an immunohistochemical study.
Zhang Y., Pillai G., Gatter K., Blázquez C., Turley H., Pezzella F., Watt SM.
We aimed to study the expression of phosphorylated vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (pVEGFR-2), a membrane-bound tyrosine kinase receptor to vascular endothelial growth factor, in 76 cases of leukemia and nonneoplastic myeloproliferative disease and in 8 reactive bone marrows. The microvessel density (MVD) and the expression of both pVEGFR-2 and its ligand, VEGFA, were evaluated in these cases. We used archival cases and immunohistochemistry with a monoclonal antibody generated by us to the autophosphorylation sites in the cytoplasmic tail of VEGFR-2 and von Willebrand factor antibody to evaluate MVD. Our results demonstrate increased expression of this phosphorylated receptor in the neoplastic cells in acute myeloid and lymphoblastic leukemias. This correlated with increased MVD and VEGFA expression by the neoplastic cells. Interestingly, there was nuclear relocation of this receptor in these diseases. This raises the possibility that pVEGFR-2 may be involved in the transcriptional regulation of these leukemias. Small molecule inhibitors to this receptor may therefore be a useful adjunct in the therapy for these diseases.