Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-related factors are believed to regulate angiogenesis, an essential event in the growth of solid tumors. In this study, we investigated the expression of VEGF-related factor genes (VEGF, VEGF-B, and VEGF-C) and their receptor genes (VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2) in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). There were significant differences in the expression level of VEGF, VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 between RCC and the corresponding normal renal tissue. The expression level of VEGF in the tumor tissue significantly correlated with those of VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2. Expression levels VEGF-B and VEGF-C genes were not significantly different between RCC and normal renal tissue. A moderate to high protein expression for VEGF, VEGFR-1, and VEGFR-2 was observed in both the tumor cells and the endothelial cells, whereas the protein expression was low for VEGF-B and VEGF-C. The present results suggested that VEGF and its receptors VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 cooperates to play a crucial role in the angiogenesis of RCC, while VEGF-B and VEGFR-C may not. Furthermore, since VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 proteins were expressed in the tumor cells as well as in the endothelial cells, these receptors may also be responsible for the progression of RCC.
2001 Tohoku University Medical Press