Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 39, Issue 8, pp 763–768

Expression of gap junction protein connexin32 in chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors

  • Yuichi Nakashima
    • Second Department of SurgeryShimane Medical University
  • Takashi Ono
    • Second Department of SurgeryShimane Medical University
  • Akira Yamanoi
    • Second Department of SurgeryShimane Medical University
  • Osama Nazmy El-Assal
    • Second Department of SurgeryShimane Medical University
  • Hitoshi Kohno
    • Saga Kouseikan Hospital
  • Naofumi Nagasue
    • Second Department of SurgeryShimane Medical University
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00535-003-1386-2

Cite this article as:
Nakashima, Y., Ono, T., Yamanoi, A. et al. J Gastroenterol (2004) 39: 763. doi:10.1007/s00535-003-1386-2

Abstract

Background

The gap junction (GJ) plays important roles in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis, the control of cell growth and differentiation, and the prevention of experimental hepatocarcinogenesis. In this study, we examined the relationship between the expression of the GJ protein connexin (Cx) 32 in 24 human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and 29 non-carcinomatous liver specimens (NCLs) of 31 patients.

Methods

An immunohistochemical study of Cx32 was done in 24 HCCs and 29 NCLs from 31 patients who had undergone hepatic resection.

Results

The Cx32 expression decreased gradually as the disease progressed to cirrhosis and HCC. In all Cx32 positive HCCs, the expression was mostly recognized in cytoplasm, not only on the cell membrane. This internalization of Cx32 was also recognized in liver specimens showing hepatitis and cirrhosis, although it was less frequent than in the HCCs.

Conclusions

These findings suggest the possibility that changes in both the amount and the distribution of Cx32 may be implicated in human hepatocarcinogenesis.

Key words

gap junctionconnexin32HCCinternalization

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2004