Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1/-2 and nitric oxide in unruptured intracranial aneurysms

Neurol Sci. 2010 Oct;31(5):617-23. doi: 10.1007/s10072-010-0378-2. Epub 2010 Jul 16.


The biological mechanisms associated with the development and rupture of intracranial aneurysms are not fully understood. To clarify the role of VEGF and the related receptors in the pathophysiology of aneurysm, immunostaining for VEGF, VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 was performed on specimens from six unruptured aneurysms and on two specimens of normal arteries wall as a control. The results were correlated with NO concentration of CSF collected during surgery from 8 patients affected by unruptured aneurysms and in 11 control patients. The immunohistochemical data showed a different pattern of VEGF/VEGFR1/VEGFR2 in aneurysms when compared with control. The results of this preliminary study suggest an imbalance of VEGF, VEGFR1 and VEGFR2, and the interaction of VEGF and NO in the pathophysiology of unruptured aneurysms. Our data support the hypothesis of aneurysm formation associated with a loss of expression of VEGFR1, moderate expression of VEGFR2 and high concentration of nitrate.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitric Oxide / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-1 / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2 / cerebrospinal fluid*


  • Nitric Oxide
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-1
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2