Objectives: To describe the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), proto-oncogene macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor (c-fms) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in cervical carcinogenesis and to analyze the correlation of VEGF with c-fms and COX-2 expression. Methods: In this study, 26 cases of benign cervix, 28 low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN; CIN 1), 30 high-grade CIN (CIN 2/3) and 28 squamous cervical carcinomas (SCC) were examined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and analysis was performed separately for epithelium and stroma. Results: Positive epithelial expressions in normal cervix, low-grade CIN, high-grade CIN and SCC were, respectively: VEGF - 11.5%, 39.3%, 53.3% and 75% (P < 0.001); c-fms - 0%, 10.7%, 40% and 67.9% (P < 0.001); COX-2 - 7.7%, 39.3%, 80% and 100% (P < 0.001). Stromal VEGF expression was higher than epithelial expression in all CIN grades and was also associated with the lesion grade, while c-fms and COX-2 stromal expression was weak. VEGF expression was statistically correlated to c-fms and COX-2 expression in high-grade CIN (P = 0.020 and P = 0.027, respectively) and SCC (P = 0.015 and P = 0.005, respectively). Conclusions: On the basis of our findings, these factors may participate in the development and progression of CIN lesions, with possible interaction of c-fms and COX-2 on VEGF expression, and may be potential molecular targets for studies of cervical cancer prevention and treatment.
- Cervical cancer
- Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
- Macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology