oa Southern African Journal of Gynaecological Oncology - Expression of adhesion molecule epithelial cadherin and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in squamous neoplasia of the uterine cervix : research

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2074-2835
  • E-ISSN: 2220-105X



The objective of the study was to evaluate the expression of cell adhesion molecules [epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin)] and extracellular matrix protease [matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9] in preinvasive and invasive lesions of squamous neoplasia of the uterine cervix.

The study included 14 cases of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and 43 cases of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Immunohistochemistry (IHC) testing was performed for E-cadherin and MMP-9 using the polymer technique. The pathological prognostic parameters, like tumour grade, stage, lymphovascular space invasion and mitosis were compared with the expression of these markers.
The mean age of the patients with CIN was 40.1 years, and 50.9 years for those with SCC. Complete uniform membranous expression of E-caherin was demonstrated in the normal epithelium and most CIN (79%). MMP-9 was not expressed in the normal epithelium, whereas 43% of CIN (of which 67% were CIN grade III) were positive. Loss of membranous E-cadherin was shown in 88% of SCC, and MMP-9 with variable intensities expressed in 74%. A statistically significant association was established between the expression of these immune markers in preinvasive and invasive lesions, although there was no significant association with the prognostic parameters. In addition, the loss of E-cadherin was evident in patients with recurrence, while the expression of MMP-9 was demonstrated in 60%.
The loss of membranous E-cadherin and the gain of cytoplasmic MMP-9 are markers of neoplastic transformation in squamous neoplasia of the uterine cervix. However, the expression of these immune markers in our study did not relate to the prognostic parameters, indicating the importance of these markers in early neoplastic transformation.

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