Endothelial transdifferentiated phenotype and cell-cycle kinetics of AIDS- associated Kaposi sarcoma cells

D. L. Way, M. H. Witte, M. Fiala, G. Ramirez, R. B. Nagle, M. J. Bernas, M. Dictor, P. Borgs, C. L. Witte

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16 Scopus citations


The nature of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) (vascular malignancy vs. discordant angiogenesis) and lineage of the progenitor cell remain unclear. Therefore, AIDS-KS enzyme isolate cultures were prepared from excised skin lesions. Endothelial marker positivity for Factor VIII related antigen (F8RAg), Ulex europaeus agglutinin (UEA), and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) were determined by fluorescence microscopy (FM) and flow cytometry (FCM). DNA cell-cycle analysis was performed using FCM. KS lesions showed large thick- walled channels (F8RAg and UEA strongly +), narrow vascular slits and thin- walled lakes (F8RAg and UEA weakly +), and non-prominent spindle cells (F8RAg and UEA almost uniformly negative). KS cultures yielded heterogenous populations of spindle, stellate, and flattened endothelial-like cells, displaying positivity for F8RAg (64±3%; mean±SE), UEA (40±9%), and ACE (81±9%). When injected subcutaneously in the nude mouse these cells failed to produce tumors. During contact inhibition induced quiescence, KS cultures exhibited a high G2M (18±3%) compared to non-KS (7±4%; p<0.04), evidence of an altered proliferative potential consistent with a transdifferentiated or transformed phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Hematology

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