Neovascularization is prominent in the chronic inflammatory lesions of Sjögren's syndrome

Margherita Sisto, Sabrina Lisi, Giuseppe Ingravallo, Dario Domenico Lofrumento, Massimo D'Amore, Domenico Ribatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Summary: Angiogenesis is a common finding in chronic inflammatory diseases; however, its role in Sjögren's syndrome (SS) remains to be elucidated. Previous SS studies have demonstrated an increase in VEGF-A/VEGFR-2 system expression in minor salivary gland (MSG) biopsies from patients with SS, but differences in the new blood vessel formation between the different grades of disease severity have not been reported. Therefore, experiments were performed to demonstrate angiogenesis during different phases of primary SS (pSS) and to define the relationship between the microvessel density (MVD), macrophage infiltration and histiocyte distribution in SS MSG inflammatory lesions. In this series of experiments, immunohistochemistry was used to examine angiogenesis in serial sections of pSS MSG. Patients with pSS were classified accordingly with the grade of inflammatory lesions as I = low-grade (low focus score of 1 or 2), II = intermediate-grade (focus score of 3-6) and III = extensive inflammation in the MSG (high focus score of 12). Histological examination demonstrated that the MVD increased with the severity of the inflammatory lesions, and in addition, we found an increased infiltration of inflammatory and pro-angiogenic cells.These findings reveal that angiogenesis is intimately involved in the progression of pSS, may be central to the propagation of the chronic immune response observed in pSS and could represent a novel potential biomarker of pSS disease activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-137
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Experimental Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • Angiogenesis
  • CD31
  • CD68
  • Sjögren's syndrome
  • Tryptase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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