The aim of the present study was to determine the distribution and characteristics of microvessels in various histological types of canine renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The study compared microvessel density (MVD) and distribution of blood vessels according to histological type and evaluated the presence of angiogenesis-related proteins. Nine archival samples of canine RCC were studied. MVD was calculated as the mean number of blood vessels per mm2. The diameter of blood vessels was calculated by determining either the length of the long axis of blood vessels (diametermax) or the mean distance from the centre of each blood vessel to the tunica adventia (diametermean). A significant difference in MVD was evident between RCCs and normal kidneys (46.6 ± 28.0 versus 8.4 ± 2.2 microvessels/mm2). Diametermax in canine RCCs (34.1 ± 14.7 μm) was also significantly different from normal canine kidney (23.2 ± 3.4 μm). Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was expressed by tumour cells and vascular endothelial cells and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α expression was observed in vascular endothelial cells in both neoplastic and normal kidney. Although VEGF is involved in angiogenesis and correlates with tumour stage of development, no correlation was found between VEGF expression and MVD. Tumour-associated macrophages expressing TNF-α and hypoxia inducible factor 1α were identified in peritumoural tissue and may play an important role in angiogenesis.
- Microvessel density
- Renal cell carcinoma