The three-dimensional microvascular architecture of the human Kaposi sarcoma implanted in nude mice: a SEM corrosion casting study

Microvasc Res. 2006 Nov;72(3):128-35. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2006.06.001. Epub 2006 Aug 22.


The human Kaposi sarcoma represents one of the most common skin lesions associated with AIDS. Its clinical presentation and anatomopathological structure seem to demonstrate a particularly rich vascularity. The latest therapies aim to limit its intrinsic angiogenic activity in an attempt to reduce vascular density and the formation of new vessels. For these reasons, we decided to study the microvascular architecture of Kaposi sarcoma in three dimensions. We used a corrosion casting technique applied to nude mice previously transplanted subcutaneously with human modified neoplastic Kaposi sarcoma cells. The cooption of host vessels made by the tumor was demonstrated by three-dimensional scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. At high magnification several angiogenic patterns were observed in the form of potato-shaped vessels, sprouts, intussusceptions and mouse tailed end tipped capillaries along with some ultrastructural features such as intercellular extravasations and endothelial cell modifications. Our investigation allowed us to build a detailed map of tumor vasculature in human Kaposi sarcoma. Furthermore, this study want to shed light on the sharp morphological three-dimensional conformation of angiogenic sprouts so to be able to better understand their modifications occurred during time and after antiangiogenic experimental therapies, by now observed only by immunohistochemical or immunofluorescent assays.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteries / pathology
  • Arteries / ultrastructure
  • Arterioles / pathology
  • Arterioles / ultrastructure
  • Capillaries / pathology
  • Capillaries / ultrastructure
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Microcirculation / pathology
  • Microcirculation / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / blood supply*
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / pathology
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / ultrastructure*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Veins / pathology
  • Veins / ultrastructure
  • Venules / pathology
  • Venules / ultrastructure