Localization of transforming growth factor-β1 precursor and latent TGF-β1 binding protein in colorectal adenomas
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Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) is a multifunctional cytokine and is thought to be involved in colorectal tumorigenesis as a regulator of cell growth and differentiation. This role is mainly supported byin vitro studies while its rolein vivo remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the TGF-β1 precursor (β1-LAP) and the latent TGF-β1 binding protein (LTBP) are expressed in colorectal adenomas, the presumed precursors of most of colorectal adenocarcinomas. TGF-β1 precursor and LTBP were examined in 35 adenomas and 10 normal colonic mucosa specimens by immunohistochemistry, using specific polyclonal antibodies. In normal colonic mucosa,β1-LAP was moderately expressed in epithelial crypt cells and in the stromal cells in the lamina propria. In adenomas,β1-LAP was localized in epithelial cells with an heterogeneous pattern and was also present in stromal cells around the adenomatous glands. LTBP was not detected in epithelial cells but was observed in stromal cells and in the extracellular matrix (ECM).β1-LAP expression in epithelial cells did not correlate with the grade of dysplasia, while LTBP localized in stromal cells and ECM appeared to be closely associated with areas of higher grade of dysplasia. This study is the first demonstration of bothβ1-LAP and LTBP in colorectal adenomas with different dysplasia grades. Our results suggest that TGF-β1 might be involved in the mechanisms controllingin vivo colorectal tumorigenesis and support a role for the stromal-associated TGF-β1.
Key wordstransforming growth factor-β1 latent TGF-β binding protein colorectal adenoma colorectal tumorigenesis
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