Strong claudin 5 expression is a poor prognostic sign in pancreatic adenocarcinoma
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We investigated the expression of claudin 5 in 88 ductal adenocarcinomas of the pancreas. The results were correlated with patient prognosis, with claudin 5 expression in blood vessels, with the expression level of bcl2 and bax and with apoptosis. Claudin 5 expression was detected in 24 (38 %) cases. It was not associated with tumour size or spread, but strong claudin 5 expression correlated with a worse survival (p = 0.005). Claudin 5 also associated with a higher extent of apoptosis and greater expression of bax protein. In the tumour vasculature, some vessels displayed a loss of claudin 5 expression. The presence of this loss was associated with tumour grade and the presence of nodal metastases (p = 0.02, p = 0.022, respectively). These results indicate that claudin 5 is upregulated in a proportion of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas. The association of strong claudin 5 expression with a worse survival is in line with some earlier reports indicating that this protein is involved with increased locomotion and more aggressive spread of carcinomas. The association of claudin 5 with apoptosis and bax might be due to stronger cellular kinetics found in such tumours. The loss of claudin 5 expression in the tumour vasculature points to a leaky vessel type; this might also ease the access of tumours to vessels and be reflected in its association with the presence of nodal metastases.
KeywordsPancreas Carcinoma Claudin Apoptosis
We appreciate the support of the Finnish Anti-Tuberculosis Association and the Finnish Cancer Society.
Conflicts of interest
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