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Immunohistochemical study of mucin carbohydrates and core proteins in hepatolithiasis and cholangiocarcinoma.

Yamashita K, Yonezawa S, Tanaka S, Shirahama H, Sakoda K, Imai K, Xing PX, McKenzie IF, Hilkens J, Kim YS

  • Journal International journal of cancer

  • Published 03 Sep 1993

  • Volume 55

  • ISSUE 1

  • Pagination 82-91

  • DOI 10.1002/ijc.2910550116


The expression of mucin carbohydrates [Tn, sialosyl-Tn(STn), and T antigens] and core proteins [MUCI-apomucin-related antigen (ARA) and MUC2-ARA] was examined immunohistochemically in tissues from 40 patients with hepatolithiasis and 26 patients with intrahepatic bile-duct carcinoma. Tn and STn antigens were expressed in most of the carcinomas, and were also often expressed in the atypical bile-duct epithelium of the patients with hepatolithiasis or carcinoma, whereas they were rarely or never expressed in the normal bile duct, suggesting that they are effective tumor markers. T antigen was less useful as a marker for intrahepatic bile-duct carcinoma or the atypical epithelium, because it was expressed in normal bile-duct of some cases. Regarding the expression of ARAs in the carcinomas, non-invasive bile-duct cyst adenocarcinomas with favorable prognosis either expressed no MUCI-ARA with [DF3(-), MUSEII(-) and 139H2(-)] staining pattern or expressed MUCI-ARA with [DF3(-), MUSEII(+) and 139H2(+)] staining pattern. However these tumors often expressed MUC2-ARA with [anti-MRP(+) and CCP58(+)] staining pattern. In contrast, most invasive non-papillary cholangiocarcinomas with poor prognosis expressed MUCI-ARA with [DF3(+), MUSEII(+) and 139H2(+)] staining pattern, but expressed no MUC2-ARA with [anti-MRP(-) and CCP58(-)] staining pattern. These results suggests that different apomucins are produced by bile-duct cystadenocarcinomas and cholangiocarcinomas with differing prognosis. Furthermore, expression of Tn and STn antigens is a useful indicator of malignancy in the intrahepatic duct.