Phenotypic expression of histocompatibility antigens in human primary tumours and metastases
HLA class I and II expression was studied on 244 (177 primary and 67 metastatic) solid human tumours of different origin. Alkaline immunophosphatase (APAAP) and immunoperoxidase were used on cryostatic sections to stain MHC antigens. Monomorphic MoAbs were used against class I heavy chain, β2-microglobulin, DR, DQ and DP molecules.
Class I expression was homogeneous on colon, melanoma and epidermoidal primitive tumours. Loss of HLA class I antigens was more frequent on basal cell carcinomas and sarcomas and was related to tumour differentiation on larynx carcinoma. Class I expression was heterogeneous on breast, larynx and stomach primitive neoplasias. Class I negative tumours were more frequent on metastatic than on primitive melanomas. Divergence of class I between primary tumours and autologous metastases was observed on melanomas, larynx and colorectal carcinomas.
Class II expression was heterogeneous on all tumours and in a large number of cases was associated with high intensity of leukocytic infiltrate. HLA-DR expression was higher than HLA-DP and HLA-DQ (DR>DP>DQ) and was related to tumour progression. Four human tumour cell lines were modulated with recombinant interferon-γ for HLA class I and II antigens. Different HLA profiles were obtained: increased class I and II expression, increased class II or a low response.
Finally, class I genes from 22 tumours were compared with autologous normal cells by Southern blot analysis: 12 tumours were class I positive and 10 negative. No clear differences in RFLP were observed that could be associated with class I rearrangement. The results are discussed in relation to the role that histocompatibility antigens may play in tumour progression and invasiveness.
KeywordsMelanoma Southern Blot Analysis Basal Cell Carcinoma Cryostatic Section Human Tumour Cell Line
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