Thrombospondin-1 and -2 messenger RNA expression in normal and neoplastic endometrial tissues: correlation with angiogenesis and prognosis

Int J Oncol. 2001 Aug;19(2):305-10. doi: 10.3892/ijo.19.2.305.


The role of thrombospondin (TSP) in tumor angiogenesis and progression remains controversial. The expression of TSP-1 and TSP-2 mRNAs was assessed. Furthermore, TSP association with clinicopathological features, including microvessel count, regarding prognostic significance was examined. Expression of TSP-1 and TSP-2 were assessed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction in 18 normal endometrium and 55 endometrial cancer samples. Microvessel counts were determined by immunostaining for factor VIII-related antigen in endometrial cancer specimens. TSP-1 expression of secretory phase endometrium was markedly higher than that of proliferative phase endometrium (p=0.047). Expression of TSP-1 and TSP-2 was detected in 33 (60.0%) and 15 cases (27.3%), respectively, of 55 endometrial cancer samples. TSP-1 expression was significantly higher in tumors recovered from elderly women (p=0.009). TSP-2 expression was significantly higher in malignancies exhibiting cervical and lymph-vascular space involvement (p=0.029 and p=0.009, respectively). Although not statistically significant, microvessel counts were higher in cases displaying increased TSP-1 expression. The microvessel count in patients with TSP-2 expression was markedly higher than that observed in patients lacking TSP-2 expression (p=0.026). Subjects demonstrating TSP-2 mRNA expression displayed significantly poorer prognosis than those lacking TSP-2 mRNA expression (p=0.016). There was no association between TSP-1 mRNA expression and patient outcome. Our findings provide evidence that elevated TSP expression may be associated with an angiogenic phenotype in endometrial cancer. In addition, TSP-2 expression is a marker for poor prognosis in this disease.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Vessels / pathology
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / genetics
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Endometrium / metabolism*
  • Endometrium / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / genetics
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Thrombospondin 1 / genetics*
  • Thrombospondins / genetics*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Thrombospondin 1
  • Thrombospondins
  • thrombospondin 2