Simple mucin-type carbohydrate antigens (Tn, sialosyl-Tn, T and sialosyl-T) and gp 230 mucin-like glycoprotein are candidate markers for neoplastic transformation of the human cervix
Mucins and simple mucin-type carbohydrates are cancer-associated antigens in several human tumors. Expression of Tn, sialosyl-Tn, Thomsen-Friedenreich (T), sialosyl-T and of a recently identified mucin-like glycoprotein (gp230) has not yet been thoroughly investigated in human cervix carcinogenesis. In the present study sections from normal cervix (n=10), CIN III lesions (n=10), and invasive carcinomas (n=47) were evaluated immunohistochemically using monoclonal antibodies. In normal cervix there was: cytoplasmatic expression of Tn in 1 case (10%); membranous expression of STn in 8 cases (80%); no expression of T and cytoplasmatic expression of ST in 1 case (10%); gp 230 was expressed in all cases with a membranous pattern. In CIN III lesions there was cytoplasmatic and membranous expression of Tn in 3 cases (30%) and of STn in 9 cases (90%); T and ST were not expressed; gp 230 was expressed in 5 cases (50%) both in the cytoplasm and at the cell membrane. In invasive carcinomas we observed Tn expression in 30 cases (63.8%) and STn in 31 cases (66%); T antigen was not expressed; expression of both ST and gp 230 in 24 cases (51.1%); all antigens showed membranous and cytoplasmatic staining. Our results show that Tn and ST are good markers of invasive carcinomas of the human cervix. We have also shown that loss of expression of the mucin-like glycoprotein gp 230 is associated with malignant transformation at a preinvasive stage.
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