How do gastric carcinoma classification systems relate to mucin expression patterns? An immunohistochemical analysis in a series of advanced gastric carcinomas
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Gastric carcinoma classifications differ in their value for distinguishing tumors according to their morphological pattern, functional properties, and biological significance. In this study we evaluated which of three established classification systems is best correlated with the expression patterns of certain mucins. A total of 160 gastric carcinomas from Turkey and Germany were screened immunohistochemically for the expression of MUC1, MUC2, MUC5AC, and MUC6, and the results were related to the different tumor categories in Lauren's, Carneiro's, and Goseki's classifications. It was found that in all three classifications carcinomas belonging to the gland-forming category most commonly expressed MUC1: 78% of Goseki's grade I carcinomas, 81.1% of Lauren's intestinal type carcinomas, and 82.8% of Carneiro's glandular type. MUC2 was expressed in all Goseki grade II carcinomas, which comprise the mucinous type, while it was not significantly associated with any of the other classifications. MUC5AC was found in all Goseki grade IV carcinomas, i.e., signet ring cell carcinomas. It was also significantly associated with Carneiro's mixed type and isolated cell type carcinomas, while there was no correlation with any of Lauren's types. MUC6 failed to show a relationship with any of the categories of the various classifications. We conclude that Goseki's classification is best correlated with MUC expression patterns because it distinguishes clearly between MUC1-positive gland-forming carcinomas, MUC2-positive mucinous ones, and MUC5AC-positive signet ring cell carcinomas. It is likely that each of these gastric carcinoma types has its own carcinogenesis.
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