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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Increased levels of type VIII collagen in human brain tumours compared to normal brain tissue and non-neoplastic cerebral disorders.


The expression of type VIII collagen was examined in the normal and diseased human brain. Focal immunoreactivity was seen in histologically abnormal vessels of all four angiomas and 40 of 52 brain tumours (gliomas, meningiomas and schwannomas). An extended staining pattern, as well as a punctate distribution, was frequently observed in affected vessels. Staining was not apparent in nine normal brains and in 15 pathologic brains showing various cerebrovascular abnormalities, including Alzheimer's, Leigh's and Wernicke's diseases. Immunoblotting of glioblastomas revealed two bands at 56 kD and 67 kD which were also present at low levels in normal frontal cortex. The extracellular distribution of type VIII collagen was different from that of the other collagen types which have been described in brain and resembles patterns of expression described for certain tissues during mammalian embryogenesis (Kapoor et al., 1988). Our results provide additional evidence for the participation of type VIII collagen in some types of angiogenesis.

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