Vasculogenic mimicry (VM) was an important tumor blood supply to complement the endothelial cell-dependent angiogenesis, while leptin and receptor (ObR) involved in angiogenesis in glioblastoma has been reported on previous study, but the relationship between ObR expression and VM formation in human glioblastoma tissues, as well as their prognostic significance still remains unclear. In our study, we found that VM recognized by CD31-/PAS+ immunohistochemical staining in glioblastoma tissues showed a positive correlation with leptin expression (r = 0.58, P < 0.01), as well as ObR expression in glioblastoma tissues (r = 0.61, P < 0.01). Association of glial to mesenchymal transition (GMT)-related molecular with ObR expression and VM formation in glioblastoma tissues indicated that ObR-positive glioblastoma cells with GMT phenotype might be more likely to constitute VM, and co-expression of ObR and CD133 or Nestin to constitute the channel impliated that ObR-positive glioblastoma cells displayed glioblastoma stem cells (GSC) properties. Moreover, Kaplan-Meier statistical analysis showed that patients with more VM or ObR expression displayed poorer prognosis for overall survival times than patients with less expression (VMhigh vs. VMlow: P = 0.033; ObRhigh vs. ObRlow: P = 0.009). And ObR+ glioblastoma cells with GSC characteristic were mostly involved in VM formation, whereas a little part of cells were also related to microvascular density (MVD), which suggested that ObR was an important target for anticancer therapy, so further related studies were needed to improve glioblastoma treatment.
Keywords: glial to mesenchymal transition; glioblastoma; glioblastoma stem cells; leptin receptor; vasculogenic mimicry.