Expression of VEGF₁₆₅b, VEGFR1, VEGFR2 and CD34 in benign and malignant tumors of parotid glands

Adv Clin Exp Med. 2018 Jan;27(1):83-90. doi: 10.17219/acem/64876.


Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an angiogenic factor and could be involved in the pathogenesis of salivary gland tumors. VEGF exerts its biological function by binding to its receptors, VEGFR1 and VEGFR2. An alternative splice variant of VEGF (VEGFxxxb) is an anti-angiogenic factor. Binding VEGF165b with VEGFR2 results in an impaired angiogenic response. The imbalance of VEGFxxx and VEGFxxxb isoforms can underpin pathological angiogenesis.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the expression of VEGF165b, VEGFR1, VEGFR2, and CD34 in benign and malignant parotid gland tumors and to explore the possible correlations between their expression and clinicopathological features of tumors.

Material and methods: The study was performed on archived paraffin-embedded tissue samples derived from 70 patients with benign and malignant parotid gland tumors (25 with malignant tumors, 23 with pleomorphic adenoma and 22 with Warthin's tumor). Immunohistochemical staining of selected tissue sections was performed using monoclonal antibodies. Immunohistochemical staining of selected molecules was used for evaluation of their expression in tissue sections.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences in the expression of the selected proteins localized in the tumor and surgical margin taken from the same patient. Expression of VEGFR2 correlated with VEGF165b in mixed tumors. There was a statistically significant difference in the expression of VEGFR1 in malignant tumors between females and males, and between the expression of VEGFR1 and the score of T classification in malignant tumors.

Conclusions: VEGF165b cannot be treated as a prognostic factor. VEGF receptors correlated with selected clinicopathological data of malignant tumors, indicating their possible role as a prognostic marker. The balance of VEGF isoforms have a limited influence on the development of parotid glands tumors. The correlation between VEGF165b and VEGFR2 in mixed tumors suggests the existence of an additional antiangiogenic pathway in poorly vascularized mixed tumors.

Keywords: CD34; VEGF; Warthin’s tumor; angiogenesis; salivary gland tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism*
  • Parotid Gland*
  • Parotid Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Parotid Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism*


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors