Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 55–63 | Cite as

Prognostic significance of claudin expression changes in breast cancer with regional lymph node metastasis

  • A. M. Szasz
  • A. M. Tokes
  • M. Micsinai
  • T. Krenacs
  • Cs. Jakab
  • L. Lukacs
  • Zs. Nemeth
  • Zs. Baranyai
  • K. Dede
  • L. Madaras
  • J. Kulka
Research Paper


Adherent and tight junction molecules have been described to contribute to carcinogenesis and tumor progression. Additionally, the group of claudin-low tumors have recently been identified as a molecular subgroup of breast carcinoma. In our study, we examined the expression pattern of claudins, beta-catenin and E-cadherin in invasive ductal (IDCs) and lobular (ILCs) carcinomas and their corresponding lymph node metastases (LNMs). Tissue microarrays of 97 breast samples (60 invasive ductal carcinomas, 37 invasive lobular carcinomas) and their corresponding LNMs have been analyzed immunohistochemically for claudin-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -7, beta-catenin and E-cadherin expression. The stained slides were digitalized with a slide scanner and the reactions were evaluated semiquantitatively. When compared to LNMs, in the IDC group beta-catenin and claudin-2, -3, -4 and -7 protein expression showed different pattern while claudin-1, -2, -3, -4 and -7 were differently expressed in the ILC group. Lymph node metastases developed a notable increase of claudin-5 expression in both groups. Decrease or loss of claudin-1 and expression of claudin-4 in lymph node metastases correlated with reduced disease-free survival in our patients. According to our observations, the expression of epithelial junctional molecules, especially claudins, is different in primary breast carcinomas compared to their lymph node metastases as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry. Loss of claudin junctional molecules might contribute to tumor progression, and certain claudin expression pattern might be of prognostic relevance.


Breast cancer Lymph node metastasis Tissue microarray Claudin Prognosis 



Claudin (gene)


Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin


Epithelial–mesenchymal transition


Mesenchymal–epithelial transition


Invasive ductal carcinoma


Invasive lobular carcinoma


Lymph node metastasis


Polymerase chain reaction


Tight junction



The authors thank the kind help of Azumah Francisné, Pekár Zoltánné and Samodai Erika in the preparation of slides and immunohistochemistry. The study was supported by the following grants: ETT-049/2006, OTKA-49559/2005, Rosztóczy Foundation.

Conflict of interests

The authors have no interests to disclose.

Supplementary material

10585_2010_9357_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Szasz
    • 1
  • A. M. Tokes
    • 1
  • M. Micsinai
    • 2
  • T. Krenacs
    • 3
  • Cs. Jakab
    • 4
  • L. Lukacs
    • 1
  • Zs. Nemeth
    • 1
  • Zs. Baranyai
    • 5
  • K. Dede
    • 5
  • L. Madaras
    • 1
  • J. Kulka
    • 1
  1. 1.2nd Department of PathologySemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Sackler InstituteNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.1st Department of Pathology and Experimental Cancer ResearchSemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary
  4. 4.Department of Pathology and Forensic Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineSzent Istvan UniversityBudapestHungary
  5. 5.Department of Surgery and Vascular SurgeryUzsoki Memorial HospitalBudapestHungary

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