Eph-A2 and Eph-A4 expression in human benign and malignant thyroid lesions: An immunohistochemical study
Nikolaos P. Karidis, Constantinos Giaginis, Gerasimos Tsourouflis, Paraskevi Alexandrou, Ioanna Delladetsima, Stamatios Theocharis
Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(9): BR257-265
Available online: 2011-08-22
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, Middle Aged, Male, Humans, Female, Receptor, EphA4 - metabolism, Thyroid Neoplasms - pathology