Published online Mar 1, 2004. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v10.i5.634
Revised: August 18, 2003
Accepted: August 25, 2003
Published online: March 1, 2004
AIM: To investigate maspin expression in tumorigenesis and progression of gastric cancer and to explore its relevant molecular mechanisms.
METHODS: Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissues from normal mucosa (n = 182), dysplasia (n = 69), cancer (n = 113) of the stomach were studied for maspin expression by immunohistochemistry. Microvessel density (MVD) in gastric cancer was labeled using anti-CD34 antibody. Maspin expression was compared with clinical parameters and MVD of tumors. Caspase-3 expression was also detected in gastric carcinoma by immunohistochemistry. The relationship between Caspase-3 and maspin expression was concerned as well.
RESULTS: The positive rates of maspin expression were 79.8% (145/182), 75.4% (52/69) and 50.4% (57/113) in normal mucosa, dysplasia and cancer of the stomach, respectively. Cancer less frequently expressed maspin than normal mucosa and dysplasia (P < 0.05). Maspin expression showed a significantly negative association with invasive depth, metastasis, Lauren’s and Nakamura’s classification (P < 0.05), but not with tumor size, Borrmann’s classification, growth pattern or TNM staging (P > 0.05). The positive rate of Caspase-3 was significantly lower in gastric cancer than in normal gastric mucosa (P < 0.05,32.7% vs 50.4%). It was noteworthy that maspin expression was negatively correlated with MVD, but positively correlated with expression of Caspase-3 in gastric cancer (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Down-regulated maspin expression is a late molecular event in gastric carcinogenesis. Reduced expression of maspin contributes to progression of gastric cancer probably by inhibiting cell adhesion, enhancing cell mobility, decreasing cell apoptosis and facilitating angiogenesis. Additionally altered expression of maspin underlies the molecular mechanism of differentiation of gastric cancer and supports the different histogenetic pathways of intestinal and diffuse gastric cancers. Maspin expression can be considered as an effective and objective marker to reveal biological behaviors of gastric cancer.