Cellular oncology (Dordrecht)

High acute myeloid leukemia derived VEGFA levels are associated with a specific vascular morphology in the leukemic bone marrow.

PMID 21468688


Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) bone marrow biopsies at diagnosis display enhanced angiogenesis and increased VEGFA expression. In a xenograft mouse model it was described that availability of free VEGFA versus bound VEGFA is related to different vascular morphology. In this study we investigate the relationship between vascular morphology within AML bone marrow biopsies and AML derived VEGFA levels. Vessel count and surface area (Chalkley count) were calculated in AML bone marrow biopsies at diagnosis (n = 32), at remission (n = 8) and Normal Bone Marrow (n = 32) using immunohistochemical staining for FVIII, CD31, CTIV, SMA and VEGFA. VEGFA protein levels were measured. High vessel count was associated with an immature vessel status. Combining vessel count and Chalkley count different vessel morphology patterns were quantified within AML bone marrow biopsies. Three different subgroups could be distinguished. The subgroup (37.5% of the samples) exhibiting a high vessel count and vessels with predominantly large lumen (normal Chalkley count) was associated with high secreted VEGFA protein levels. Different vasculature patterns are seen in AML bone marrow biopsies, defined by combining number and size of vessel. These quantified morphology patterns, combined with VEGFA levels, might be of value in the success of VEGF/VEGFR-signaling interference approaches.