Vasohibin-1 is a recently identified negative feedback regulator of angiogenesis induced by VEGF-A and bFGF. In this study, we first evaluated mRNA expression of vasohibin-1 and CD31 in 39 Japanese female breast carcinoma specimens including 22 invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) and 17 ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) using a real-time quantitative RT-PCR (QRT-PCR) with LightCycler system. In addition, we also immunolocalized vasohibin-1 and CD31 and compared their immunoreactivity to nuclear grades and histological grades of 100 carcinoma cases (50 IDC and 50 DCIS). There were no statistically significant differences of CD31 mRNA expression and the number of CD31 positive vessels between DCIS and IDC (P = 0.250 and P = 0.191, respectively), whereas there was a statistically significant difference in vasohibin-1 mRNA expression and the number of vasohibin-1 positive vessels in DCIS and IDC (P = 0.022 and P < or = 0.001, respectively). There was a significant positive correlation between vasohibin-1 mRNA level and Ki-67 labeling index in DCIS (r(2) = 0.293, P < or = 0.001). In addition, vasohibin-1 mRNA expression was correlated with high nuclear and histological grades in DCIS cases and a significant positive correlation was detected between the number of vasohibin-1 positive vessels and Ki-67 labeling index or nuclear grade or Van Nuys classification of carcinoma cells (P < or = 0.001, respectively). These results all indicate the possible correlation between aggressive biological features in DCIS including increased tumor cell proliferation and the status of neovascularization determined by vasohibin-1 immunoreactivity.