In a previous study using state-of-the-art proteomic techniques, we identified colligin 2 (HSP47) as a glioma blood vessel-specific protein. In the present study we precisely localized the expression of colligin 2 in the blood vessels of diffusely infiltrating gliomas and relate the expression to the distinct cellular components of the vessels by using multiple immunolabeling and confocal microscopy. We grouped the glioma blood vessels into morphological categories ranging from normal looking capillaries to vessels with hypertrophic and sclerotic changes. The expression patterns of various markers of endothelial and pericytic differentiation were correlated with the position of the cells in the vessels and the expression of colligin 2. We found that colligin 2 is expressed in all categories of glioma blood vessels in cells with endothelial and pericytic lineage. Expression of colligin 2 was also found in cells scattered around blood vessels and in few glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cells within the blood vessels. There is overlap in the expression of colligin 2 and the collagens type I and IV for which colligin 2 is a chaperon. We conclude that colligin 2 is expressed in all cellular components of glioma blood vessels and may serve as a general marker for active angiogenesis.

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Brain Pathology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Mustafa, D., van der Weiden, M., Zheng, P., Nigg, A., Luider, T., & Kros, J. (2010). Expression sites of colligin 2 in glioma blood vessels. Brain Pathology, 20(1), 50–65. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3639.2008.00248.x