Acidic and basic fibroblast growth factor expression levels in cervical cancer and their effects on tumor cell proliferation.
Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) play important roles in angiogenesis, wound healing, embryonic development, and endocrine signaling pathways. Increasingly, recent studies have reported aberrant FGF expression in various malignancies. However, the involvement of FGFs in cervical carcinoma pathogenesis remains unclear. We aimed to investigate expression of acidic (aFGF) and basic FGF (bFGF) in patients with this disease, and assess their effects on cervical cancer cell proliferation. Twenty cervical cancer patients and 10 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) patients were recruited, and 10 cancer-free individuals were included as controls. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and western blotting were employed to detect FGF mRNA and protein levels, respectively. Furthermore, HeLa cells were treated with FGFs and subjected to thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide assays to quantify proliferation. Compared with CIN and normal cervical tissues, aFGF and bFGF mRNA and protein levels were significantly elevated in cervical carcinomas (P < 0.05). CIN tissues exhibited higher expression of these FGFs than normal tissues (P < 0.05). Moreover, their mRNA levels were increased in advanced cancer stages (P < 0.05), although no significant difference was detected between tumors of different differentiation grades in this regard (P > 0.05). HeLa cell proliferation increased in an aFGF- and bFGF-dose-dependent manner (P < 0.05), the latter exerting a more potent proliferative influence, with its effect peaking at 75 ng/mL. aFGF and bFGF were highly expressed in cervical cancer tissues and their levels positively correlated with clinical stage. Both facilitate proliferation of cervical carcinoma cells and are implicated in cancer pathogenesis and progression.