Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Laminin-1 and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 may play roles in the progression from benign to malignant endometrium, so we aimed to investigate their levels of expression in these tissues. Materials and methods: This case-control study was conducted at a tertiary care center between January 2014 and December 2016. Paraffin blocks of 50 specimens of benign endometrium with proliferative (n = 20), secretory (n = 11), and atrophic (n = 5) endometrium; simple endometrial hyperplasia without atypia (n = 12); and endometrial polyp (n = 2) histology and 49 specimens of malignant endometrium with endometrioid (n = 40), serous (n = 7), clear cell (n = 1), and undifferentiated (n = 1) types were immunostained with laminin-1 and MMP-9 antibodies and assessed for basement membrane continuity for laminin-1 and the percentage and intensity of MMP-9 expression in epithelial cytoplasm. Results: Laminin-1 continuity in the basement membrane was higher in benign (92%) compared to malignant (16.3%) endometrium (p < 0.0001) without any difference between the subgroups within each group (p > 0.05). All atrophic endometria and endometrial polyps and 23.5% of low grade endometrioid and none of the other endometrial cancers showed uninterrupted basement membrane staining with laminin-1. All cases in malignant endometrium expressed MMP-9 with either low or high immunoreactivity while none of the cases in benign endometrium showed a high staining with MMP-9 (p < 0.01). Proliferative and hyperplastic endometrium together with grade 1 endometrioid cancer expressed MMP-9 better than the atrophic endometrium (p < 0.05). The immunoreactivity with MMP-9 increased gradually from secretory to hyperplastic endometrium and serous carcinoma (p < 0.05). MMP-9 expression in all types of cancers except grade 1 endometrioid and clear cell compared to proliferative endometrium was significantly higher (p < 0.05) and increased from proliferative to grade 2 endometrioid, grade 3 endometrioid, serous and undifferentiated endometrial carcinoma. Conclusion: Gradual increments in MMP-9 expression and basement membrane laminin-1 discontinuity may indicate progression from normal to hyperplastic and to low- and high-grade cancerous endometrium.


Endometrium, endometrial neoplasms, endometrial hyperplasia, immunohistochemistry, laminin, matrix metalloproteinase 9

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