Immunohistochemical Localization of Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor in Astrocytomas

David Zagzag, Douglas C. Miller, Yasufumi Sato, Daniel B. Rifkin, David E. Burstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because of the prominent neovascularization observed in the growth of brain tumors, we studied the occurrence of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), a potent angiogenic factor in astrocytomas, the most aggressive of which often have marked vascular hyperplasia. Using immunohistochemical methods, we examined 21 examples of such tumors, 7 glioblastomas multiforme, 7 anaplastic astrocytomas, and 7 low grade astrocytomas. Using polyclonal and affinity-purified rabbit antisera to human bFGF, we detected immunoreactive bFGF in all cases of glioblastoma multiforme. bFGF was present in both endothelial cells and neoplastic astrocytes. In 4 of 7 anaplastic astrocytomas, the tumor astrocytes had bFGF immunoreactivity and, in 5 of 7 cases, endothelial cells were also immunopositive. In glioblastomas multiforme and anaplastic astrocytomas, capillaries adjacent to tumor showed bFGF immunoreactivity, whereas capillaries distant from the tumors were not im-munostained. In low grade astrocytomas, astrocytic cells were weakly immunoreactive in 2 of 7 cases, and in only 1 of the 7 cases capillaries were immunostained. In each grade, reactive astroglial cells showed variable bFGF immunoreactivity. The immunostaining was not seen with the flow-through fraction obtained after affinity purification of the bFGF antiserum with pure recombinant bFGF. These results suggest a possible role for bFGF in tumor growth and in angiogenesis in astrocytomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7393-7398
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number22
StatePublished - 15 Nov 1990
Externally publishedYes


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