, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 589-596,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 26 Feb 2011

Endoglin (CD105) expression in ovarian serous carcinoma effusions is related to chemotherapy status


Endoglin (CD105), a cell surface co-receptor for transforming growth factor-β, is expressed in proliferating endothelial cells, as well as in cancer cells. We studied endoglin expression and its clinical relevance in effusions, primary tumors, and solid metastatic lesions from women with advanced-stage ovarian serous carcinoma. Endoglin expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in effusions (n = 211; 174 peritoneal, 37 pleural). Cellular endoglin staining was analyzed for association with the concentration of soluble endoglin (previously determined by ELISA) in 95 corresponding effusions and analyzed for correlation with clinicopathologic parameters, including survival. Endoglin expression was additionally studied in 34 patient-matched primary tumors and solid metastases. Carcinoma and mesothelial cells expressed endoglin in 95/211 (45%) and 133/211 (63%) effusions, respectively. Carcinoma cell endoglin expression was more frequent in effusions from patients aged ≤60 years (p = 0.048) and in post- compared to prechemotherapy effusions (p = 0.014), whereas mesothelial cell endoglin expression was higher in prechemotherapy effusions (p = 0.021). No association was found between cellular endoglin expression and its soluble effusion concentration. Endoglin was expressed in 17/34 (50%) primary tumors and 19/34 (56%) metastases, with significantly higher percentage of immunostained cells in solid metastases compared to effusions (p = 0.036). Endoglin expression did not correlate with survival. Tumor cell endoglin expression is higher in post- vs. prechemotherapy effusions, whereas the opposite is seen in mesothelial cells. Together with its upregulation in solid metastases, this suggests that the expression and biological role of endoglin may differ between cell populations and change along tumor progression in ovarian carcinoma.