The clinical significance of cadherins in gestational trophoblastic diseases (GTD) is not fully understood. In this study, the expression of E-cadherin and cadherin-11 in 12 normal placentas, 32 cases of hydatidiform mole (HM) including 15 complete HMs and 17 partial HMs, and five choriocarcinomas was investigated by immunohistochemistry and correlated with follow-up of HMs. Cases with available frozen blocks were further analyzed by western blot and semiquantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Methylation of E-cadherin was investigated by methylation-specific PCR in six normal first trimester placentas, 19 HMs and their associated deciduas. E-cadherin expression was localized to cytotrophoblast and intermediate trophoblast whereas cadherin-11 was expressed in syncytiotrophoblast, intermediate trophoblast, and decidua. Immunoreactivity of E-cadherin was reduced in choriocarcinoma and complete HM when compared with that in normal first trimester placenta (P < 0.01, P = 0.04). Hypermethylation of E-cadherin was demonstrated in three complete HMs with the lowest level of E-cadherin. Compared with normal first trimester placenta, immunoreactivity of cadherin-11 was higher in complete HM (P = 0.02), but lower in choriocarcinoma (P = 0.02). Such differential expression was confirmed by western blot and semiquantitative RT-PCR. No obvious association was observed between the development of persistent trophoblastic disease with the expression of E-cadherin and cadherin-11.
- gestational trophoblastic diseases
- hydatidiform mole
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