Osteopontin expression correlates with angiogenesis and survival in malignant astrocytoma

Pathol Oncol Res. 2008 Sep;14(3):293-8. doi: 10.1007/s12253-008-9058-4. Epub 2008 May 21.


Osteopontin (OPN) is a phosphorylated glycoprotein with diverse functions including angiogenesis, cancer development, invasion and metastasis. The aim of the study was to analyze the expression of OPN in human astrocytomas and to correlate it with angiogenesis and patients' outcome. Seventy-six human astrocytomas including eight pilocytic astrocytomas (grade I), 10 diffuse astrocytomas (grade II), 8 anaplastic astrocytomas (grade III) and 50 glioblastomas (grade IV) were immunohistochemically stained for OPN protein. The distribution of OPN staining (cytoplasmic and/or interstitial) was assessed and compared to microvessel number and patients' survival. In normal brain tissue some glial and neuronal cells showed weak cytoplasmic staining, while interstitium was negative. Astrocytomas were heterogeneous regarding the OPN expression. High cytoplasmic OPN expression in glioblastomas was associated with poor patients' survival (p = 0.012). Also, we found the association of interstitial OPN expression and angiogenesis (p = 0.033), i.e. the number of newly formed blood vessels was higher in tumors showing high interstitial OPN expression. Our results indicate the overexpression of OPN protein in astrocytoma cells and suggest the role of OPN in astrocytoma progression and angiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytoma / blood supply*
  • Astrocytoma / metabolism*
  • Astrocytoma / mortality
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism*
  • Osteopontin / metabolism*
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Osteopontin