Wael M. Abdel-Rahman, Nayela S. I. Gani, Zeinab A. Hassan, Israa M.M. Abdel Hadi, Khawlah Sulaiman, Hanan W. Gad El Maula, Kaltoum Osman, Hana M. Abdullahi and Khawla Khamis
Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, College of Health Sciences and SIMR, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
Antiangiogenic agents are currently used as adjuvant therapy in colon and other cancers. Hence it is important to identify angiogenic markers in tumor specimens through simple laboratory analyses. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of HIF-1α and the vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) in colorectal carcinoma and their relation to vascular density and clinicopathological and molecular characteristics of the tumors. The expressions of HIF-1α and VEGF-C proteins, blood microvessel density (MVD) and lymphatic vessel density (LVD) were evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 58 colorectal cancer samples. HIF-1α was positive in 26/58 (45%) while VEGF-C was positive in 29/58 (50%). There was a significant correlation between HIF-1α and VEGF-C (P< 0.00001). HIF-1α expression was significantly correlated with MVD and VEGF-C was significantly correlated with LVD (P< 0.00001 for both). There was no significant correlation between HIF-1α or VEGF-C and clinicopathological characteristics, microsatellite instability, β-catenin localization or the tumor suppressor gene methylator phenotype of these tumors. Interestingly, both HIF-1α and VEGF-C were significantly correlated to p53 stabilization (P= 0.0007 and 0.003 respectively). The expression status of the analysed markers supports the concept that HIF-1α regulates VEGF-C expression, and both act as regulators of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis downstream of p53 in colon cancers of Eastern origin.