Capillaries expressing the laminin alpha2 chain in basement membranes may be considered early developing vessels in normal and neoplastic human tissues. Therefore, we investigated whether up-regulation of this extracellular matrix protein favors transendothelial migration of neoplastic cells and then metastasis. In lung small and large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas, which exhibit a stronger metastatic tendency among carcinomas, laminin alpha2 chain-positive vessels were more numerous than in carcinoid tumors and supraglottis, breast, and lung non-small cell carcinomas, suggesting a direct relationship between these vessels and metastasis. In vitro studies showed that epidermal growth factor (EGF) induced a more efficient migration of the AE-2 lung neuroendocrine carcinoma cell line through the purified laminin alpha2 chain rather than through the laminin beta1 chain and fibronectin. AE-2 cells constitutively expressed all EGF receptors and the alpha6beta1 integrin, which is one of the laminin alpha2 chain receptors. EGF up-regulated alpha6beta1 expression in several tumors. In this regard, we show that EGF increased the chemo-kinetic migration of AE-2 cells through EAHY endothelial monolayers, which was inhibited by the anti-alpha6 integrin chain monoclonal antibody. These data indicate that laminin alpha2 chain and alpha6beta1 may be mutually involved in EGF-dependent migration of AE-2 cells and that laminin alpha2 chain-positive vessels may favor metastasis of EGF-dependent tumors.