Primary cutaneous large B-cell lymphomas, leg type (PCLBCL/LT) are primary cutaneous B-cell lymphoma (PCBCL) with an intermediate prognosis. Therefore, antracycline-based polychemotherapy combined with rituximab has been recommended as first-line treatment. Yet, despite this regimen, the 5-year survival rate remains 50-66% only. Angiogenesis, the formation of a vascular network, is essential for the pathogenesis of nodal lymphomas. So far, no study has analysed angiogenesis and its key factors in PCLBCL/LT. The present study was aimed at characterizing angiogenesis in PCLBCL/LT to identify the angiogenic molecules as potential therapeutic targets. The intra-tumoral microvessel density (MVD) was assessed by immunohistochemical studies of CD20 and CD31. The MVD was higher in PCLBCL/LT compared with indolent PCBCL. Analyses of open-source microarray data showed correlation between the angiogenic molecule angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) and pan-endothelial cell markers. ELISA studies determined a shift between Ang-2 and Ang-1 towards Ang-2 in the peripheral blood of PCLBCL/LT patients. Immunofluorescence costainings against the Ang receptor Tie2/angiogenic integrins/CD34 revealed that the vasculature in both aggressive and indolent PCBCL tumors harbours an endothelial cell subpopulation with reduced expression of Tie2. In contrast, the alternative Ang-2 binding partners, angiogenic integrins, are strongly expressed in PCBCL. In line with these findings, downstream targets of Ang-2-integrin signalling, that is phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase at Tyr397, and sprouting angiogenesis are enhanced in PCLBCL/LT. Our data present Ang-2 as a promising therapeutic target and anti-angiogenic therapy as a new line in treatment of PCLBCL/LT as a hitherto intractable disease.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published