Expression of CD44 standard and CD44 variant 6 in human lung cancer

S. Ochiai, Y. Nakanishi, K. Mizuno, S. Hashimoto, S. Inutsuka, M. Kawasaki, J. Yatsunami, N. Hara

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9 Citations (Scopus)


We immunohistochemically examined the expression of CD44 standard (CD44 st) and CD44 variant 6 (CD44 v6) in 112 cases of primary lung cancer, and their relationship to the clinical milieu, including the clinical stage. In 46 cases of squamous cell carcinoma, expression of CD44 st was observed in 45.7% of the cases, and expression of CD44 v6 was observed in 60.9%. In 43 cases of adenocarcinoma, positive staining of CD44 st and CD44 v6 was seen in 2.3% and 4.7% of the cases, respectively. None of 21 small cell carcinomas was positive for CD44 st or CD44 v6. In squamous cell carcinomas, the expression of CD44 st and CD44 v6 was observed at a rate significantly higher than in other histologic type. Most specimens positive for CD44 st stained positively for CD44 v6. Therefore, it seems likely that the CD44 expression observed in squamous cell carcinoma of the lung was a variant CD44 containing the domain encoded by variant exon 6. The expression of CD44 v6 was not related to the clinical stage. Significant association between CD44 v6 and differentiation of squamous cell carcinoma was seen; 2/7 (28.6%) for poorly differentiated, 19/31 (61.3%) for moderately differentiated, and 7/8 (87.5%) for well differentiated squamous cell carcinomas (p=0.02 by trend test). It was previously reported that CD44 st and CD44 v6 were expressed in both normal bronchial epithelium and squamous cell metaplasia. These results suggest that the expression of CD44 v6 in squamous cell carcinoma of the lung may reflect the immunohistochemical characteristics of the tissue from which such carcinoma emerge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1185
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese Journal of Thoracic Diseases
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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