Vascular endothelial growth factor is an autocrine growth factor in human malignant mesothelioma

Luigi Strizzi, Alfonso Catalano, Giovina Vianale, Sara Orecchia, Angelo Casalini, Gianfranco Tassi, Riccardo Puntoni, Luciano Mutti, Antonio Procopio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a potent mitogen for vascular endothelium, is expressed in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MM). The present report examines the effect of VEGF on MM growth. Four MM cell lines produced significantly higher VEGF levels than normal mesothelial cells (1946 ± 14 pg/ml vs. 180 ± 17 pg/ml; p <0.001). In addition, MM cells expressed the tyrosine kinase-related VEGF receptors Flt-1 and KDR. Recombinant human VEGF phosphorylated both Flt-1 and KDR and increased proliferation of all four MM cell lines in a dose-dependent fashion. Neutralizing antibodies against either VEGF, Flt-1 or KDR significantly reduced MM cellular proliferation. In addition, expression of VEGF, Flt-1, and KDR was observed in MM biopsies. Moreover, higher VECF levels were found in the pleural effusions of MM patients than in the effusions of patients with non-malignant pleural disease (1885.7 ± 894.9 pg/ml vs. 266.9 ± 180.5 pg/ml; p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-475
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Autocrine growth
  • Malignant pleural mesothelioma
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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