, Volume 146, Issue 10, pp 1113-1118
Date: 16 Aug 2004

An immunohistochemical study of extracellular matrix proteins laminin, fibronectin and type IV collagen in paediatric glioblastoma multiforme

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Aims. In the recent decades many studies have been addressed in the literature to assess specific factors related to glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) invasion. However, few studies have evaluated tumour cell’s interaction with specific extracellular matrix (ECM) components, and, moreover, there is a lack of information regarding the occurrence of these phenomena in paediatric GBM.

Methods and results. ECM proteins were evaluated in six cases of paediatric GBM assessing the immunohistochemical expression of laminin, fibronectin, and type IV collagen. We used a semiquantitative scale, ranging from not detected (zero) to marked (3). Laminin expression was minimal in three cases, moderate in one case, marked and generalised in one patient and marked and focal in the last case. Fibronectin expression was minimal in three patients; moderate immunoreactivity was documented in one case. Conversely, one case was classified as marked with generalised distribution and the remaining case as marked with focal immunostaining. Type IV collagen expression was minimal in three cases, moderate in one, marked with focal reaction in one and marked with generalised reaction in the remaining case.

Conclusions. This study provides additional insights into tumour invasion features of paediatric GBM, as ECM plays a pivotal role in numerous cellular functions during normal and pathological processes. Although based on a limited number of patients, this investigation may serve as a challenge for the management of paediatric GBM, stimulating trials with larger patient numbers aimed at documenting specific factors influencing GBM prognosis.