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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.