CD44v6, an integral transmembrane protein belonging to a family of adhesion molecule receptors, plays an important role in tumor growth, progression and metastasis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the expression of CD44v6 in normal, hyperplastic, adenomatous, and malignant colonic epithelium and to determine its correlation with tumor pathologic stage and lymph node metastasis. We examined the immunohistochemical expression of CD44v6 in normal colonic tissue (n = 25), hyperplastic polyps (n = 45), tubular adenomas (n = 57), tubulovillous adenomas (n = 25), villous adenomas (n = 9), adenocarcinomas stage I (n = 26), adenocarcinomas stage III (n = 26), and lymph node metastasis (n = 26). The percentage of positive cells and the staining intensity were assessed and scored. Statistical analysis was performed using logistic regression and McNemar test. All normal colonic tissue and hyperplastic polyps showed CD44v6 staining confined to the base of the crypt. In tubular adenomas, the dysplastic surface adenomatous epithelium expressed CD44v6 in 49 (86%) cases. CD44v6 was expressed in the glandular areas of tubulovillous adenomas in 21 (84%) cases and in the villous portion in 18 (72%) cases. All villous adenomas expressed CD44v6. CD44v6 was expressed in 23 (88%) cases of stage I adenocarcinomas, in 24 (92%) cases of stage III adenocarcinomas, and in 9 (35%) cases of metastatic adenocarcinomas. We concluded that the gain of CD44v6 expression in premalignant and malignant colonic lesions suggests that CD44v6 may be functionally involved in the adenoma-to-carcinoma progression. CD44v6 did not correlate to tumor pathologic stage and is lost during the acquisition of migratory function by metastatic tumor cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine