Abnormal angiogenesis is a critical feature of many diseases, including cancers and their precursors. Although
the association between prostate carcinogenesis and changes in microvascular architecture is well known, these changes
are not well-documented from a quantitative point of view. The present work deals with stereological estimates of the
number of quiescent and proliferative endothelial cells, and microvessel length in normal and prostate cancer tissues. Unbiased
stereological measurements of numerical densities of proliferating cell nuclear antigen immunostained cells, nonproliferating
endothelial cells, caspase 3 immunoreactive endothelial cells, and relative length (length density) of microvessels,
were performed in control and cancer specimens. There were no changes in either proliferation or apoptosis in
carcinoma endothelial cells. A decrease of endothelial cell density, together with an increase of microvessel length density,
were detected in prostate cancer specimens.
Therefore, the following conclusions can be drawn: a) The increase of angiogenetic activity in prostate carcinogenesis
leads to an increment of the microvascular length; b) The amount of endothelial cells per vascular length decreases in
prostate cancer; c) There is no decrease of endothelial apoptosis in cancer microvessels. d) The increase of the length density
of microvessels in prostate cancer is not directly associated to an enhancement of the endothelial proliferation; and e)
The blood supply of epithelium was similar in both cancerous and normal prostate.