International Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 15–23

HLA-G upregulation in pre-malignant and malignant lesions of the gastrointestinal tract

  • Donna E. Hansel
  • Ayman Rahman
  • Robb E. Wilentz
  • Ie-ming Shih
  • Michael T. McMaster
  • Charles J. Yeo
  • Anirban Maitra
Research Article

DOI: 10.1385/IJGC:35:1:015

Cite this article as:
Hansel, D.E., Rahman, A., Wilentz, R.E. et al. Int J Gastrointest Canc (2005) 35: 15. doi:10.1385/IJGC:35:1:015

Abstract

HLA-G belongs to the nonclassical MHC class Ib group of molecules and has been implicated in mediating immune-responsiveness in various cancerous and non-cancerous cell types. We have examined HLA-G expression in a number of human gastrointestinal malignancies, including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, ampullary cancer, biliary cancer, and colorectal cancer by immunolabeling analysis. We used indices of <5% (negative), 6–25%, 26–50%, 51–75%, and >75% (diffuse) to subclassify lesions based on percentage of positive cell labeling. Across all cancer subtypes, 52–79% of lesions demonstrated expression of HLA-G, with up to 33% of lesions demonstrating diffuse (>75%) expression. In addition, we utilized the neoplastic progression model of colorectal cancer to evaluate HLA-G protein expression in normal colon, tubulovillous adenomas, invasive cancer, and liver metastases arising from colorectal cancer. Focal HLA-G expression was detected in regions of normal colon adjacent to sites of adenomatous and cancerous lesions, as well as in all stages of cancer progression. Overall, the percentage of diffusely (>75%) labeled lesions appeared increased in preneoplastic and neoplastic conditions, as compared to normal colon. Specifically, tubulovillous adnenomas demonstrated pronounced diffuse labeling in 58% of lesions examined. No correlation with HLA-G expression and CD4+ or CD8+ T cells was identified. We propose that HLA-G expression is upregulated in a large percentage of gastrointestinal lesions and may serve to mediate immuneresponsiveness in certain instances.

Key Words

Pancreas colon gallbladder pancreatic cancer ampullary cancer biliary cancer colorectal cancer immune tolerance 

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna E. Hansel
    • 4
  • Ayman Rahman
    • 4
  • Robb E. Wilentz
    • 4
  • Ie-ming Shih
    • 4
  • Michael T. McMaster
    • 3
  • Charles J. Yeo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anirban Maitra
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimore
  2. 2.Department of OncologyThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimore
  3. 3.Department of StomatologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan Francisco
  4. 4.Department of PathologyThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimore

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