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Spitz tumours reveal distinctive kinetics, VEGF-C and microvessel profiles by topographic compartments

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journal contribution
posted on 15.11.2012, 00:00 by Salvador J. Diaz-CanoSalvador J. Diaz-Cano, Alfredo Blanes, L Pozo-Garcia, E Husain


The bases of the cell kinetics and microvessel profiles in Spitz tumours (ST) are poorly understood. No study has correlated cell kinetics, microvessel profile, and VEGF-C expression by topographic compartments in ST to date. We selected 42 ST, 42 malignant melanomas (MM) of which 15 were in the radial growth phase (RGP) and 27 in the vertical growth phase (VGP), and 35 conventional melanocytic naevi (15 junctional, 20 compound); the latter two groups were used as controls. Immunostaining for Ki-67 and vascular endothe- lial growth factor-C (VEGF-C), and in situ end labelling (ISEL) of DNA fragments (using the Klenow fragment of DNA poly- merase I) were scored according to topographic compart- ments: junctional, superficial dermal (above 0Æ76 mm) and deep dermal (below 0Æ76 mm), screening the whole com- partment in each case. Appropriate controls were run in each sample. CD-31-stained slides were used to estimate microves- sel density. The results were compared statistically using ana- lysis of variance and Student t-test, and considered significantly different if P < 0Æ05. A superficial-to-deep gradi- ent was maintained for Ki-67 in all lesions, but was signifi- cantly higher in MM. From junctional to deep dermal compartments, ST showed a progressive and statistically signi- ficant increase of ISEL indices (4Æ38%, 4Æ73%, 8Æ35%) and microvessel density (4Æ38, 4Æ39, 7Æ41 vessels HPF–1). VEGF-C expression by compartments appears in the Table 1. In conclusion, the local VEGF-C expression in ST is directly correla- ted with the microvessel density and apoptosis index and inversely correlated with the proliferation index, suggesting that this distinctive blood vessel pattern is reactive to regres- sive cellular changes rather than an element of melanocytic lesion progression.