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Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 23–28 | Cite as

Microvascular density and vascular endothelial growth factor expression in normal pituitary tissue and pituitary adenomas

  • P. Viacava
  • Maurizio Gasperi
  • G. Acerbi
  • L. Manetti
  • E. Cecconi
  • A. G. Bonadio
  • A. G. Naccarato
  • F. Acerbi
  • G. Parenti
  • I. Lupi
  • M. Genovesi
  • E. Martino
Original Article

Abstract

Microvessel density (MVD) represents a measure of angiogenesis and may be used as an indicator of neoplastic aggressiveness. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays a pivotal role as angiogenic promoter by stimulating endothelial cell proliferation and migration and enhancing vascular permeability. The aim of this study was to investigate MVD and VEGF expression in human pituitary adenomas and normal pituitary gland tissues by immunohistochemistry, and to correlate data with clinical characteristics. Fragments from 46 pituitary adenomas (18 non-functioning, 12 ACTH-secreting, 12 GH-secreting, 4 PRL-secreting) and 19 specimens of normal anterior pituitary gland obtained at surgery were evaluated. MVD in normal anterior pituitary was significantly higher than in tumors (69.2±28.5 vs 29.3±19.7; p<0.0001). Within adenomas, no difference was found in MVD when different histotype, size, sex, age, rate of recurrence or medical pre-surgical treatment were considered. The degree of vascularity was somewhat related only to clinical invasiveness, as evaluated by pre-surgical MRI grading (grade 0 p<0.05 vs grade 1 and vs grade 2). No statistically significant difference in VEGF expression was found between normal tissue and adenomas and among tumors of different histotype (p= 0.3978). Size, sex, age, rate of recurrence and medical pre-surgical treatment did not influence VEGF expression. No correlation was found between MVD and VEGF expression. In conclusion, MVD was reduced in pituitary adenomas with respect to normal gland. VEGF expression is however well preserved in adenomas and this might contribute to adequate tumoral vascular supply with complex mechanisms other than endothelial cells proliferation.

Key-words

MVD CD-34 VEGF pituitary adenomas 

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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Viacava
    • 1
  • Maurizio Gasperi
    • 2
  • G. Acerbi
    • 3
  • L. Manetti
    • 2
  • E. Cecconi
    • 2
  • A. G. Bonadio
    • 1
  • A. G. Naccarato
    • 1
  • F. Acerbi
    • 3
  • G. Parenti
    • 3
  • I. Lupi
    • 2
  • M. Genovesi
    • 2
  • E. Martino
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Oncology, Section of PathologyUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Endocrinology, Section of PathologyUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Neuroscience, Section of NeurosurgeryUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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