Formation of vasculogenic mimicry in bone metastasis of prostate cancer: correlation with cell apoptosis and senescence regulation pathways

Pathol Res Pract. 2014 May;210(5):291-5. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2014.01.005. Epub 2014 Feb 5.


Vasculogenic mimicry (VM) has been found in prostate cancer (PCa) as an independent marker of poor prognosis. To investigate the correlation between VM and bone metastasis in PCa, a total of 80 cases were analyzed by CD31 and PAS dual-staining as well as the follow-up data. All cases were divided into two groups: VM-positive and VM-negative (VM-pos/VM-neg). Immunohistochemical staining for investigating the expression of Casepase-3, Bcl-2/Bax, and SA-β-gal was performed. 28 of the 80 PCa cases exhibited VM structure (35.0%). The incidence of bone metastasis in the VM-pos and VM-neg was 67.9% (19/28) and 38.5% (20/52), respectively. The positive rate of Casepase-3 and Bcl-2 expression was significantly different of the two groups (Caspases-3: VM-pos 71.4%, 20/28 vs VM-neg 42.3%, 22/52; Bcl-2: VM-pos 35.7%, 10/28 vs VM-neg 65.4%, 34/52). Bcl-2/Bax ratio of the VM-pos (0.71±0.22) was lower than that of the VM-pos (0.89±0.13). In addition, a higher frequency of SA-β-gal was detected in VM-pos (64.29±86.42) than in VM-neg (25.37±72.21). Taken together, our findings demonstrate that PCa with VM has the tendency to develop bone metastasis. Activations of cell apoptosis and senescence regulation pathways may play important roles in the formation process of VM structure.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Bone metastasis; Prostate cancer; Senescence; Vasculogenic mimicry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Bone Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Bone Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology*
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology