Published online Dec 15, 2002. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v8.i6.994
Revised: June 2, 2002
Accepted: June 12, 2002
Published online: December 15, 2002
AIM: The expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors KDR and Flt-1 by gastric carcinoma tissues and different gastric carcinoma cell lines was detected to elucidate the molecular mechanism of this growth factor in promoting tumor growth.
METHODS: The expression of VEGF, Flt-1 and KDR was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in gastric cancer cell lines RF-1, RF-48, AGS-1, NCI-N87, NCI-SNU-1, NCI-SNU-5, NCI-SNU-16 and KATO-III. The expression of Flt-1 and KDR in paraffin-embedded specimens of gastric cancer was determined by immunohistochemistry. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was used to assess the role of VEGF in tumor cell proliferation.
RESULTS: All 8 gastric cancer cell lines analyzed expressed VEGF121 and VEGF165 and six of them expressed both Flt-1 and KDR, while cell line NCI-SNU-5 expressed Flt-1 only and cell line KATOIII expressed neither Flt-1 nor KDR. The gastric carcinoma tissues expressed Flt-1 and KDR widely, with the positive rate of expression of Flt-1 and KDR being 84.6% and 70% respectively. The exogenous VEGF stimulated the growth of KDR-positive cell lines NCI-N87 and AGS-1 in a dose-dependent manner but exhibited no effect on the growth of KDR-negative cell line NCI-N87.
CONCLUSION: VEGF and its receptors KDR and Flt-1 were expressed widely in gastric carcinoma cells and the VEGF stimulated KDR-positive tumor cell growth directly. These results suggest that VEGF may play a role in promoting tumor growth and metastasis by participating in both paracrine and autocrine pathways.