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Aberrant P-cadherin expression is associated to aggressive feline mammary carcinomas

Figueira, Ana Catarina, Gomes, Catarina, de Oliveira, Joana Tavares, Vilhena, Hugo, Carvalheira, Júlio, de Matos, Augusto JF, Pereira, Patrícia Dias, Gärtner, Fátima
BMC veterinary research 2014 v.10 no.1 pp. 270
adhesion, cadherins, carcinogenesis, cats, epithelial cells, fluorescent antibody technique, glycoproteins, immunohistochemistry, mammary glands, necrosis, neoplasms, prognosis
BACKGROUND: Cadherins are calcium-dependent cell-to-cell adhesion glycoproteins playing a critical role in the formation and maintenance of normal tissue architecture. In normal mammary gland, E-cadherin is expressed by luminal epithelial cells, while P-cadherin is restricted to myoepithelial cells. Changes in the expression of classical E- and P-cadherins have been observed in mammary lesions and related to mammary carcinogenesis. P-cadherin and E-cadherin expressions were studied in a series of feline normal mammary glands, hyperplastic/dysplastic lesions, benign and malignant tumours by immunohistochemistry and double-label immunofluorescence. RESULTS: In normal tissue and in the majority of hyperplastic/dysplastic lesions and benign tumours, P-cadherin was restricted to myoepithelial cells, while 80% of the malignant tumours expressed P-cadherin in luminal epithelial cells. P-cadherin expression was significantly related to high histological grade of carcinomas (p <0.0001), tumour necrosis (p = 0.001), infiltrative growth (p = 0.0051), and presence of neoplastic emboli (p = 0.0401). Moreover, P-cadherin positive carcinomas had an eightfold likelihood of developing neoplastic emboli than negative tumours. Cadherins expression profile in high grade and in infiltrative tumours was similar, the majority expressing P-cadherin, regardless of E-cadherin expression status. The two cadherins were found to be co-expressed in carcinomas with aberrant P-cadherin expression and preserved E-cadherin. CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrate a relationship between P-cadherin expression and aggressive biological behaviour of feline mammary carcinomas, suggesting that P-cadherin may be considered an indicator of poor prognosis in this animal species. Moreover, it indicates that, in queens, the aberrant expression of P-cadherin is a better marker of mammary carcinomas aggressive behaviour than the reduction of E-cadherin expression. Further investigation with follow-up studies in feline species should be conducted in order to evaluate the prognostic value of P-cadherin expression in E-cadherin positive carcinomas.