The aim of the present study was to investigate immunohistochemically aspects of the biology of canine endothelial neoplasia. Forty samples of canine cutaneous and visceral haemangiosarcoma (HSA), 29 samples of cutaneous and visceral haemangioma (HA) and 10 control samples of granulation tissue (GT) were labelled with antisera specific for vimentin, smooth muscle actin, von Willebrand factor (vWF), CD117 (KIT), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 (VEGFR-3), vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGFC) and CD44. Further antisera were employed to determine the level of cellular proliferation (MIB-1 index) and toluidine blue staining was used to detect populations of tumour-infiltrating mast cells (MCs). There was greater expression of CD117, VEGFR-3 and CD44 in HSA than in HA, suggesting that these proteins might be suitable targets for the future development of novel therapeutic approaches to canine HSA. Marked infiltration of MC was detected in HA, suggesting a possible role for these cells in the pathogenesis of benign vascular neoplasia in the dog. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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