Immunohistochemical expression of estrogen receptors alpha and beta in lobular neoplasia
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The designation lobular neoplasia (LN) of the breast includes atypical lobular hyperplasia and lobular carcinoma in situ. Estrogen receptors (ER) play a significant role in breast carcinogenesis. In the present study, ER-alpha and ER-beta status are evaluated in 30 breast tissue specimens from patients whose main lesion was LN. A standard immunohistochemical procedure, using monoclonal antibodies for ER-alpha and ER-beta, was applied to the lesion and the adjacent normal breast tissues, the latter serving as control. In all cases, both receptors were expressed in LN as well as in normal breast ducts and lobules. Concerning ER-alpha, the Allred score and the percentage of ER-alpha-positive cells were significantly higher in LN than in the adjacent normal breast tissue. On the contrary, regarding ER-beta, the Allred score and the percentage of ER-beta-positive cells were significantly lower in LN compared with normal adjacent breast tissue. Greater increase in the percentage of ER-alpha-positive cells was associated with a smaller reduction in the percentage of ER-beta-positive cells and vice versa (Spearman’s rho = −0.5044, p = 0.001). In conclusion, upregulation of ER-alpha and downregulation of ER-beta may represent two discrete molecular events in LN pathogenesis. Of notice, a mutually limiting interaction may exist between the two events.
KeywordsLobular neoplasia Estrogen receptor Immunohistochemistry Breast
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