p16 is consistently expressed in endometrial tubal metaplasia

Department of Surgical Gynecology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Cellular oncology: the official journal of the International Society for Cellular Oncology (Impact Factor: 4.17). 02/2007; 29(1):37-45.
Source: PubMed


Cell cycle proteins and HIF-1alpha with downstream factors are often abberrantly expressed in (pre)neoplastic tissue.
Paraffin-embedded specimens of inactive endometrium with TM (n=15), ovarian inclusion cysts (n=6), cervix with TM (tubal metaplasia) (n=3), Fallopian tubes (n=7), cycling endometrium (n=9) and a ciliated cell tumor of the ovary were stained for p16 and LhS28. 39 Endometrioid endometrial carcinomas and 5 serous endometrial carcinomas were stained for p16. Additionally, inactive endometrium (n=15) was immunohistochemically stained for p21, p27, p53, cyclin A, cyclin D1, cyclin E, HIF-1alpha, CAIX, Glut-1 and MIB-1.
A mosaic pattern of expression of p16 was seen throughout in all cases of endometrial TM (15/15), in 2/6 of the ovarian inclusion cysts with TM, in all (3/3) cervical TM and focal in 5/7 of Fallopian tube cases. Mosaic expression was also seen in a ciliated cell tumor of the ovary and in 18/39 of endometrioid endometrial carcinomas, and diffuse p16 expression was seen in 5/5 serous carcinomas. In comparison with normal endometrium, TM areas in the endometrium showed significantly increased expression of HIF-1alpha, cyclin E, p21 and cyclin A, and decreased expression of p27. Membranous expression of CAIX and Glut-1 was only seen in TM areas, pointing to functional HIF-1alpha.
As p16 is consistently expressed in TM, less and only patchy expressed in the normal Fallopian tube, is paralleled by aberrant expression of cell cycle proteins, HIF-1alpha, CAIX and Glut-1 and resembles the pattern of p16 expression frequently seen in endometrial carcinomas, we propose endometrial TM to be a potential premalignant endometrial lesion.

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