Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor family messenger RNA in diseased thyroid tissues

Surg Today. 2002;32(9):761-8. doi: 10.1007/s005950200146.


Purpose: Four different factors have recently been identified in the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)family, namely, VEGF-A, VEGF-B, VEGF-C, and VEGF-D. We investigated the expression of each VEGF gene in diseased thyroids using the multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method.

Methods: The subjects were 61 patients (11 with Graves' disease, 41 with primary papillary carcinoma, and 9 with recurrent papillary carcinoma). A semiquantitative multiplex RT-PCR was designed to compare the RT-PCR products of each VEGF mRNA with beta-actin mRNA products to determine the relative expression.

Results: VEGF-A and VEGF-B mRNA were expressed in all patients, VEGF-C mRNA was expressed in 58 (95.1%), and VEGF-D mRNA was expressed in 28 (46.0%). The expression of VEGF-D mRNA was significantly lower than that of the other VEGF mRNAs. The patients with papillary carcinoma and nodal involvement had significantly higher expression of the VEGF-C mRNA than those without nodal involvement. The expression of VEGF-C mRNA did not directly represent nodal involvement; however, the number of metastatic lymph nodes was positively correlated with the expression of VEGF-C mRNA in the primary tumor.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first clinical study on VEGF-B, VEGF-C, and VEGF-D mRNA expression in diseased thyroids. Although VEGF-C mRNA expression was required for nodal involvement, we assume that other factors and mechanisms are also involved.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / metabolism*
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Graves Disease / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Lymphokines / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor C
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Lymphokines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor C
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors