Tumor morphology and immunohistochemical expression of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, p53, and Ki67 in Urogenital carcinomas of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus)

K. M. Colegrove, F. M D Gulland, D. K. Naydan, Linda J Lowenstine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Metastatic carcinoma of urogenital origin is a common cause of mortality in free-ranging California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). The etiology of this cancer is likely multifactorial, with viral infection, genetic factors, and exposure to environmental organochlorine contaminants possible contributing factors. In this study, expression of estrogen receptor α (ER α), progesterone receptor (PR), p53, and Ki67 were evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 12 sea lions with metastatic carcinoma, genital epithelial dysplasia, and intraepithelial neoplasia; 4 with genital epithelial dysplasia and intraepithelial neoplasia without metastases; and 6 control animals. Dysplastic and neoplastic lesions were identified in multiple areas of the cervix, vagina, penis, prepuce, and urethra in affected animals, suggesting multicentric development. Lesions were graded according to degree of epithelial dysplasia and infiltration and lesions of different grades were evaluated separately. Estrogen receptor expression was lower in intraepithelial lesions compared with normal genital epithelium, and expression in metastatic lesions was completely absent. There was progesterone receptor expression in neoplastic cells in intraepithelial lesions of all grades and in metastases, with no significant difference between lesion grades or between control and affected epithelium. Ki67 index and p53 expression increased with lesion grade and were higher in lesions than normal epithelium. Metastatic tumors exhibited highly variable morphology; however, proliferation index, ER α, PR, and p53 expression were similar in tumors with different patterns of growth. These results suggest that endogenous hormones, environmental contaminants that interact with steroid hormone receptors, and alterations in p53 may play a role in urogenital carcinogenesis in California sea lions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-655
Number of pages14
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

Keywords

  • California sea lions
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Intraepithelial neoplasia
  • Ki67
  • p53
  • Progesterone receptor
  • Urogenital carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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