Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The immunohistochemical localization and expression of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 receptors (VDR) has been investigated in normal human cervical tissue (n = 15) and in cervical carcinomas (n = 23). VDR immunoreactivity (monoclonal antibody 9A7r354;) was compared with the staining patterns of transglutaminase K, cytokeratin 10 and Ki-67 in these tumours. Moderate to strong nuclear immunoreactivity for VDR was detected in almost all cervical carcinomas analysed. VDR staining was homogeneous, with no visual differences between individual tumour cells. Some 60% of normal cervical tissues revealed weak immunoreactivity for VDR. In normal cervical tissue, nuclear VDR staining was confined to the lower cervical layers, predominantly to the basal cell layer. Both the intensity of VDR immunostaining and the number of VDR-positive cells were up-regulated in cervical carcinomas compared with normal cervical tissue. No visual correlation wa s found for the coexpression of VDR with markers of proliferation and differentiation. Our findings indicate that: (1) cervical tissue may be a new target organ for therapeutically applied vitamin D analogues; (2) VDR is up-regulated at the protein level in cervical carcinomas compared with normal cervical tissue; (3) up-regulation of VDR in cervical carcinoma is induced not exclusively by alterations in epithelial differentiation or proliferation, but by different, unknown mechanisms; and (4) calcitriol and new vitamin D analogues exerting fewer calcaemic side-effects may be promising new drugs for the treatment or chemoprevention of metastasizing cervical carcinomas as well as of cervical precancerous lesions.
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