Expression of hyaluronan in normal and dysplastic bronchial epithelium and in squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.

Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, University of Kuopio, Finland.
International Journal of Cancer (Impact Factor: 6.2). 07/1998; 79(3):251-5.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A series of 85 lung/bronchial tissue samples from 76 patients consisting of normal, metaplastic and dysplastic epithelium and different types of lung carcinomas were analyzed for the distribution of hyaluronan (HA), using a biotinylated hyaluronan binding complex as an HA-specific probe. The normal pseudo-stratified columnar bronchial epithelium was either negative for HA or displayed a weak staining around the basal cells. The epithelia of serous and mucous bronchial glands were HA negative whereas the submucosal connective tissue was strongly positive. In metaplastic, dysplastic and carcinoma in situ lesions the whole epithelium from basal to uppermost cells expressed HA on plasma membranes. Epithelial HA was also found in squamous cell carcinomas, but not in adenocarcinomas, carcinoid tumors or small cell carcinomas of the lung. Whereas epithelial HA was present in all lesions of the squamous cell type, the staining intensity displayed great local variability in 50% of the cases with severe dysplasia, carcinoma in situ and squamous cell carcinomas. In squamous cell carcinomas, such an irregular staining pattern was significantly associated with poor differentiation. Our results indicate that the expression of HA in different bronchial lesions and lung tumors is restricted to those showing squamous cell differentiation, being absent from other types of lung carcinomas. The increase of HA depleted areas in poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinomas emphasizes the important role of HA in tumor differentiation. HA on carcinoma cell surface may influence tumor growth and metastatic behavior.

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    ABSTRACT: Chronic intense UV radiation is the main cause of epidermal tumors. Because hyaluronan (HA), a large extracellular polysaccharide, is known to promote malignant growth, hyaluronan expression was studied in a model in which long-term UV radiation (UVR) induces epidermal tumors. Mouse back skin was exposed three times a week for 10.5 months to UVR corresponding to one minimal erythema dose, processed for histology, and stained for hyaluronan and the hyaluronan receptor CD44. This exposure protocol caused epidermal hyperplasia in most of the animals; tumors, mainly squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), were found in ~20% of the animals. Specimens exposed to UVR showed increased hyaluronan and CD44 staining throughout the epidermal tissue. In hyperplastic areas, hyaluronan and CD44 stainings correlated positively with the degree of hyperplasia. Well-differentiated SCCs showed increased hyaluronan and CD44 staining intensities, whereas poorly differentiated tumors and dysplastic epidermis showed areas where HA and CD44 were locally reduced. The findings indicate that HA and CD44 increase in epidermal keratinocytes in the premalignant hyperplasia induced by UV irradiation and stay elevated in dysplasia and SCC, suggesting that the accumulation of hyaluronan and CD44 is an early marker for malignant transformation and may be a prerequisite for tumor formation.
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