Vascular endothelial growth factor, a possible paracrine growth factor in human acute myeloid leukemia.

Department of Hematology/Oncology, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
Blood (Impact Factor: 9.78). 04/1997; 89(6):1870-5.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a multifunctional cytokine involved in angiogenesis, inflammation, and wound healing. It is secreted by a variety of tumor cell lines, including hematopoietic lines. Therefore, we investigated expression of VEGF and its receptors on fresh leukemic blasts. VEGF-specific transcripts were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 20 of 28 patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and in 3 of 5 patients with secondary AML. Using immunocytochemistry, we found VEGF protein in 2 leukemic cell lines and in 8 AML patients, in concordance with PCR results. Supernatants of fresh leukemic cells from 24 AML patients contained significantly more VEGF than supernatants from bone marrow cells of 9 normal donors or of CD34-enriched cells from 3 normal volunteer donors as determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. VEGF possesses two high-affinity receptors, KDR and FLT1. Using a sensitive nested PCR assay, we detected expression of FLT1 in 10 of 20 patients with de novo AML and 3 of 5 patients with secondary AML. KDR was expressed in 4 of 22 patients with de novo AML and 1 of 4 with secondary AML. To study possible paracrine growth stimulation of AML blasts, endothelial cells from human umbilical cords were incubated with increasing concentrations of VEGF. A dose-dependent increase of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor secretion from endothelial cells was identified.

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