, Volume 62, Issue 2, pp 351–360 | Cite as

The role of E and N-cadherin in the postoperative course of gonadotroph pituitary tumours

  • Kristin Astrid Berland ØysteseEmail author
  • Jens Petter Berg
  • Kjersti Ringvoll Normann
  • Manuela Zucknick
  • Olivera Casar-Borota
  • Jens Bollerslev
Endocrine Surgery



Gonadotroph tumours are the most abundant of the clinically silent pituitary tumours. There is a lack of reliable prognostic markers predicting their clinical course. Our aim was to determine the level of E-cadherin and N-cadherin in a cohort of clinically silent gonadotroph pituitary tumours, and compare them to the rate of reintervention.


Tumour tissue from primary surgery was retrospectively investigated and compared with clinical data. Immunohistochemical (N = 105) and real time-qPCR (N = 85) analyses for the levels of N-cadherin and the extra- and intracellular domains of E-cadherin were performed. The immunoreactive scores (IRS) and mRNA relative quantity were compared to the rate of reintervention.


The tumours presented a high IRS for N-cadherin (Median 12 (IQR 12-12)) and almost no immunoreactivity for the extracellular domain of E-cadherin (Median 0 (IQR 0-0)). The membranous staining for the intracellular domain of E-cadherin varied (Median 6 (IQR 4-6). Reduced membranous expression of the intracellular domain of E-cadherin was associated with nuclear presence of the same domain. Nuclear staining for the intracellular domain of E-cadherin was associated with a lower rate of reintervention (p = 0.01).


We found that silent gonadotroph tumours presented high IRS for N-cadherin and low IRS for the extracellular domain of E-cadherin. A substantial proportion of the tumours presented nuclear staining for the intracellular domain of E-cadherin, accompanied by a reduced membranous expression of the intracellular domain of E-cadherin. Absence of nuclear staining for the intracellular domain of E-cadherin served as an independent predictor of reintervention.


Pituitary adenomas PitNET EMT Cadherin Aggressiveness Gonadotroph pituitary tumours 



The study was funded by the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority Award (recipient KABØ), grant number 2016 026.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Jens Bollerslev is a member of the Endocrine advisory board. The remaining authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study was retrospective and did not include interventions involving human participants. The study was approved by the regional ethics committee and hospital authority.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all living patients included in the study.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary data


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristin Astrid Berland Øystese
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Jens Petter Berg
    • 2
    • 4
  • Kjersti Ringvoll Normann
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Manuela Zucknick
    • 5
  • Olivera Casar-Borota
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  • Jens Bollerslev
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Section of Specialized Endocrinology, Department of EndocrinologyOslo University Hospital RikshospitaletOsloNorway
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.Research Institute for Internal Medicine (IMF), OUS RikshospitaletOsloNorway
  4. 4.Department of Medical BiochemistryOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  5. 5.Oslo Centre for Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Department of Biostatistics, Institute of Basic Medical SciencesUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  6. 6.Department of Immunology, Genetics and PathologyUppsala University, Rudbeck LaboratoryUppsalaSweden
  7. 7.Department of Clinical Pathology and CytologyUppsala University Hospital, Rudbeck LaboratoryUppsalaSweden
  8. 8.Department of PathologyOslo University HospitalOsloNorway

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