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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 507353, 9 pages
Research Article

Relationships of Alpha-SMA-Positive Fibroblasts and SDF-1-Positive Tumor Cells with Neoangiogenesis in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

1Department of Environmental and Molecular Medicine, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-174 Edobashi, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan
2Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, No. 22 Shuangyong Road, Nanning 530027, China
3Faculty of Nursing Science, Suzuka University of Medical Science, 3500-3 Minamitamagaki-cho, Suzuka, Mie 513-8670, Japan
4Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Suzuka University of Medical Science, 3500-3 Minamitamagaki-cho, Suzuka, Mie 513-8670, Japan

Received 13 December 2013; Revised 28 February 2014; Accepted 8 April 2014; Published 27 April 2014

Academic Editor: Jeroen Rouwkema

Copyright © 2014 Shumin Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is one of the most prevalent malignant tumors with poor prognosis in Southern China and Southeast Asia. Angiogenesis-related molecules can be promising therapeutic targets in NPC. To investigate the relationships of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and chemokine-related molecules with neoangiogenesis, we compared immunohistochemical analyses of alpha-smooth-muscle actin (α-SMA), stroma-derived factor-1 (SDF-1), and its receptor CXCR4 in primary NPC specimens and chronic nasopharyngitis tissues. In addition, we examined the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A), and CD133- and VEGF- receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) double positive cells, as endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). We also assessed CD34-positive microvessels. Significantly higher expression of α-SMA was observed in fibroblasts in NPC stroma. The immunoreactive intensities of SDF-1 and CXCR4 were significantly higher in NPC cells. CXCR4-positive cells and CD133/VEGFR-2- double positive cells were observed in the stroma surrounding cancer nests, and VEGF was detected in both cancer and stromal cells. Microvessel density was significantly higher in the stroma of NPC tissues compared to chronic nasopharyngitis tissues. Our data suggest that CAFs and NPC tumor cells may enhance neoangiogenesis in a VEGF- and SDF-1-dependent manner by recruiting EPCs from the bone marrow into tumor stroma.