Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in oral tissues was assessed using different antibodies. Quantitative and topographical differences were observed between paraffin and cryostat sections. Two polyclonal antibodies (PC36, PC37) differing in their cross-reactivity with VEGF121 (not recognized by PC36), were used to stain serial cryostat sections of normal oral mucosa (n=8) and squamous cell carcinoma (n=7). The expression of VEGF in the epithelium was overall higher with PC37 than with PC36, the difference being significant in normal oral mucosa (p=0.001) but not in squamous cell carcinoma samples (p=0.094). With PC36, VEGF expression was significantly higher in squamous cell carcinoma than in normal oral mucosa specimens, whereas the opposite was true with PC37. Our results suggest that the relative levels of isoform 121 to that of 165 (and possibly others) may be different in the tissues examined, with VEGF121 preferentially expressed in normal oral mucosa. Previously published conflicting results may, therefore, be due to the presence of variable ratios of VEGF isoforms in the tissues examined, combined with differences in the cross-reactivity of the antibodies used. VEGF isoforms 121, 165 and (for the first time) 189 were detected in two frozen oral tissues by polymerase chain reaction amplification. Quantification of specific VEGF isoforms will be required in future studies concerned with the clinical value of VEGF expression.
- Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- Polymerase Chain Reaction Amplification
- Relative Level
- Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Expression