Background/Aims: Angiogenesis facilitates metabolism, proliferation and metastasis of adenocarcinoma cells in the prostate, as without the development of new vasculature tumor growth cannot be sustained. However, angiogenesis is variable with the well-known phenomenon of vascular ‘hotspots’ seen associated with viable tumor cell mass. With the recent recognition of pericytes as molecular regulators of angiogenesis, we have examined the interaction of these cells in actively growing new vessels. Methods: Pericyte interactions with developing new vessels were examined using transmission electron microscopy. Pericyte distribution was mapped from α-SMA+ immunostained histological sections and quantified using image analysis. Data was obtained from peripheral and more central regions of 27 cases with Gleason scores of 4–9. Results: Pericyte numbers were increased around developing new vessel sprouts at sites of luminal maturation. Numbers were reduced around the actively growing tips of migrating endothelial cells and functional new vessels. Tumor regions internal to a 500-µm peripheral band showed higher microvessel pericyte density than the peripheral region. Conclusion: Pericytes were found to be key cellular components of developing new vessels in adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Their numbers increased at sites of luminal maturation with these cells displaying an activated phenotype different to quiescent pericytes. Increased pericyte density was found internal to the peripheral region, suggesting more mature vessels lie more centrally.
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Assoc. Prof. Murray Killingsworth, PhD
Department of Anatomical Pathology
South Western Area Pathology Service, Locked Bag 7090
Sydney, NSW 1871 (Australia)
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Received: August 23, 2010
Accepted after revision: November 15, 2010
Published online: April 05, 2011
Number of Print Pages : 11
Number of Figures : 6, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 49
Pathobiology (Exploring the basis of disease)
Vol. 78, No. 1, Year 2011 (Cover Date: April 2011)
Journal Editor: Borisch B. (Geneva), Yasui W. (Hiroshima)
ISSN: 1015-2008 (Print), eISSN: 1423-0291 (Online)
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