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 postpolycythaemic 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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine