Progressive loss of endothelial P-selectin expression with increasing malignancy in colorectal cancer.
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SourceLaboratory Investigation, 85, 2, (2005), pp. 248-256
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectNCMLS 2: Immune Regulation; NCMLS 7: Chemical and physical biology; UMCN 1.2: Molecular diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring; UMCN 1.3: Tumor microenvironment; UMCN 1.4: Immunotherapy, gene therapy and transplantation
Adhesion of inflammatory cells to vascular endothelium is mediated by specific cell adhesion receptors on both leukocytes and endothelial cells. One of the adhesion molecules on the endothelium is P-selectin. Decreased vascular P-selectin expression has been associated with tumor progression in melanoma patients. We now report on the expression of endothelial P-selectin in colorectal cancer (CRC). We studied a colorectal tissue specimen series ranging from normal colorectal tissue via unmetastasized primary tumors to tumors with the same depth of invasion at the primary site but with liver metastases. Moreover, P-selectin expression levels in liver metastases were determined. The number of P-selectin positive vessels as a fraction of the total number of vessels, both intra- and peritumorally, was determined by staining for CD62P and CD34, respectively. Furthermore, by immunostaining for leukocytes (CD45) and macrophages (CD68), it was evaluated whether levels of P-selectin expression influenced infiltrate density and composition. The results showed that levels of peritumoral P-selectin expression were reciprocal to the degree of progression in CRC. This relation was even more pronounced intratumorally: in metastasized primary tumors and in the metastatic lesions, P-selectin expression was virtually absent. This distribution pattern was reflected in the numbers of leukocytes that accumulated in the various tissues, since in the primary tumors with metastases, and in the metastatic lesions, hardly any infiltrating cells were observed. In these lesions, leukocytes were present in the peritumoral zone, but seemed unable to enter the tumor tissue. In primary tumors without metastasis, the intratumoral leukocyte infiltration density was significantly higher. Recruitment levels of macrophages remained constant throughout the different tissues. We suggest that downregulation of endothelial P-selectin expression is a mechanism by which CRC lesions evade inflammatory regression and, thereby, progress to a more advanced stage of malignancy.
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