JOURNAL ARTICLE

Increased expression of VEGF and CD146 in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

G Tsiolakidou, I E Koutroubakis, M Tzardi, E A Kouroumalis
Digestive and Liver Disease 2008, 40 (8): 673-9
18374637

BACKGROUND: Angiogenesis has been suggested as an integral part of inflammatory bowel disease pathology. Vascular endothelial growth factor has long been considered to play a central, specific role in angiogenesis. Endothelial junction adhesion molecules, such as CD146, have recently been suggested to play a potent role in angiogenesis. CD34 is expressed on vascular endothelium, and it has been reported to be upregulated on endothelium in IBD. We investigated the expression of tissue vascular endothelial growth factor, CD34 and CD146 in the inflamed mucosa of patients with active inflammatory bowel disease compared with no inflamed mucosa of healthy controls.

METHODS: Forty-two IBD patients [23 ulcerative colitis, 19 Crohn's disease] and ten healthy controls were included in the study. In colonoscopically obtained biopsies, CD34, CD146 and vascular endothelial growth factor expression were evaluated by immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: Vascular endothelial growth factor was detected in the mucosa of all groups, and its expression was significantly higher in both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis compared with controls (p<0.05). Immunohistochemical staining for CD146 in the inflamed mucosa was significantly higher in both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis compared with controls (p=0.002). A trend of higher CD34 expression in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis compared with controls was also found, but the difference among the three groups was not statistically significant (p=0.09).

CONCLUSIONS: Inflamed mucosa of patients with active Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis showed a markedly enhanced expression of VEGF and CD146, than normal mucosa of controls, indicating a possible role of angiogenesis in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease.

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