Expression of Tie-2 in human peripheral and autonomic nervous system

Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2003 Aug;29(4):361-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2990.2003.00472.x.


Tie-2, a tyrosine kinase receptor, is essential for vascular integrity by regulating cellular adhesion between pericytes and endothelial cells. The aim of this study was to identify sites of expression of Tie-2 other than the vasculature. Tie-2 expression was first detected in human colon by Western blotting and reverse-transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in tissue extracts. The presence of the Tie-2 mRNA and protein was detected by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization in cells of the colon myenteric and submucosal plexus, in both neuronal and Schwann cells. Tie-2 protein was also found in the nervous system of the female urogenital tract. In the human sciatic nerve and schwannoma, RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry analysis further confirmed the presence of Tie-2 mRNA and protein in non-autonomic peripheral nervous tissue. In conclusion, using several approaches and tissues we have demonstrated the presence of Tie-2 in human peripheral and autonomic nervous tissue, suggesting a role for Tie-2 in neural tissue. Thus, attempts to disrupt the tumour vessels by manipulation of the Tie-2 system in tumours may result in side-effects in peripheral nerves.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colon / chemistry
  • Colon / cytology
  • Colon / innervation
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Myenteric Plexus / chemistry
  • Myenteric Plexus / cytology
  • Myenteric Plexus / physiology*
  • Neurons / chemistry
  • Neurons / physiology
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / analysis
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics*
  • Receptor, TIE-2
  • Schwann Cells / cytology
  • Schwann Cells / physiology
  • Submucous Plexus / chemistry
  • Submucous Plexus / cytology
  • Submucous Plexus / physiology*
  • Sural Nerve / chemistry
  • Sural Nerve / cytology
  • Sural Nerve / physiology*
  • Urogenital System / chemistry
  • Urogenital System / cytology
  • Urogenital System / innervation


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, TIE-2