To examine which growth factors correlate with neovascularization in human brain tumors, the mRNA levels of transforming growth factor α, transforming growth factor, β, basic fibroblast growth factor, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) genes were determined by a Northern blot analysis in surgically obtained human gliomas and meninglomas. The vascular development was determined by counting the number of microvessels which were immunostained with von Willebrand factor. We normalized the growth factor mRNA levels versus the glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase mRNA level. In the 17 gliomas and 16 meningiomas examined, the mRNA of transforming growth factors α and β, basic fibroblast growth factor, and VEGF were expressed at various levels. Among those 4 growth factors, the mRNA levels of VEGF, but not those of transforming growth factors α and β and basic fibroblast growth factor, correlated significantly with vascularity in both gliomas (correlation coefficient r = 0.499; P < 0.05) and meningiomas (correlation coefficient r = 0.779; P < 0.001). These findings thus suggest that VEGF may be a positive factor in tumor angiogenesis in both human gliomas and meningiomas.

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Supported in part by a grant from the Japan Ministry of Education and the Japan Ministry of Health and Welfare.

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