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22 August 2011

Eph-A2 and Eph-A4 expression in human benign and malignant thyroid lesions: An immunohistochemical study

Nikolaos P. KaridisBEF, Constantinos GiaginisACDE, Gerasimos TsourouflisBG, Paraskevi AlexandrouB, Ioanna DelladetsimaB, Stamatios TheocharisADE

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881929

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(9): BR257-265

Abstract

Background: Ephrin receptors (Ephs) are frequently overexpressed in a wide variety of human malignant tumors, being associated with tumor growth, invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical significance of Eph-A2 and Eph-A4 expression in human benign and malignant thyroid lesions.
Material/Methods: Eph-A2 and Eph-A4 protein expression was assessed immunohistochemically on paraffin-embedded thyroid tissues from 131 patients with benign and malignant lesions.
Results: Eph-A2 was significantly overexpressed in malignant compared to benign thyroid lesions (p<0.001). Papillary carcinoma cases presented significantly increased Eph-A2 expression compared to those with hyperplasia nodules (p<0.001). Eph-A4 expression was not differentiated between cases with malignant or benign thyroid lesions. Papillary carcinoma cases presented significantly increased Eph-A4 expression compared to those with hyperplasia nodules (p=0.006). In the subgroup of malignant thyroid lesions, Eph-A2 and Eph-A4 expression was not associated with TNM stage, capsular, lymphatic or vascular invasion.
Conclusions: The present data suggest that Eph-A2, but not Eph-A4, overexpression may be associated with the malignant transformation of thyroid neoplasia. Further studies conducted on cohorts including a higher proportion of patients with advanced nodal and metastatic disease are recommended to draw definite conclusions on the clinical significance of Eph proteins in thyroid neoplasia.

Keywords: Receptor, EphA2 - metabolism, Receptor, EphA4 - metabolism, Thyroid Neoplasms - pathology

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750