Aims: Previous studies have shown that increased vascularity is associated with tumour progression in human neuroblastoma (NB). The involvement of erythropoietin (Epo) in tumour angiogenesis has also been reported. The aim of this study was to correlate microvascular density and Epo/Epo-receptor (EpoR) expression in endothelial and tumour cells to the clinical stage of NB. Methods and results: Specimens of NB obtained from 20 patients were investigated immunohistochemically by using anti-CD31, anti-Epo and anti-EpoR antibodies. The extent of angiogenesis was found to be up-regulated in advanced disease. In keeping with this observation, Epo/EpoR expression in tumour and endothelial cells, respectively, was also highly correlated with the extent of angiogenesis and higher clinical stage. Conclusions: The correlation of Epo/EpoR expression with angiogenesis and tumour progression suggests the presence of a loop in the Epo-EpoR system. Epo is secreted by tumour cells and affects vascular endothelial cells via its receptor, promoting tumour angiogenesis in a paracrine manner. Data suggest that Epo represents an important mediator in NB angiogenesis. Understanding the mechanisms of NB angiogenesis provides the basis for a rational approach to the development of antiangiogenic therapy in patients affected by NB.
- Erythropoietin receptor
- Human neuroblastoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology