Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Expression of CD133-1 and CD133-2 in ovarian cancer
  2. G. BONANNO*,
  4. A. PERILLO*,
  5. A. PROCOLI*,
  6. A. MARIOTTI*,
  7. M. CORALLO*,
  9. S. RUTELLA§,
  10. A. PAGLIA*,
  11. G. ZANNONI,
  12. S. MANCUSO* and
  13. G. SCAMBIA
  1. *Gynecologic Oncology Unit, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy
  2. Department of Oncology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Campobasso, Italy
  3. Immunohaematology and Transfusion Service, ASL Viterbo, Viterbo, Italy;
  4. §Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion;
  5. Institute of Human Pathology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Gabriella Ferrandina, MD, Gynecologic Oncology Unit, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Largo A. Gemelli, 8, 00168 Rome, Italy. Email: gabriella.ferrandina{at}


Cancer stem cells have been isolated from several solid tumors including prostate, colon, liver, breast, and ovarian cancer. Stem cells isolated from nervous system and prostate express CD133 antigen, which is widely used to isolate hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. The aims of this study were to investigate the expression of the CD133-1 and CD133-2 epitopes in primary ovarian tumors and to biologically characterize CD133+ ovarian cancer cells, also according to clinicopathologic parameters. Tissue specimens were obtained at primary surgery from 41 ovarian carcinomas; eight normal ovaries and five benign ovarian tumors were also collected. Flow cytometry with monoclonal antibodies against CD133-1 and CD133-2 epitopes was employed. FACS (fluorescence activated cell sorting) analysis enabled the selection of CD133+ cells, whose epithelial origin was confirmed by immunofluorescence analysis with monoclonal anti-cytokeratin 7. CD133+ cells gave rise to a 4.7 ± 0.9-fold larger number of colonies than that documented in CD133 population (P< 0.001). Moreover, CD133+ cells showed an enhanced proliferative potential compared to CD133 cells. The percentages of CD133-1- and CD133-2-expressing cells were significantly lower in normal ovaries/benign tumors with respect to those in ovarian carcinoma. Both the percentages of CD133-1- and CD133-2-expressing cells were significantly lower in omental metastases than in primary ovarian cancer (P= 0.009 and 0.007 for CD133-1- and CD133-2-expressing cells, respectively). There seems not to be any difference in the distribution of the percentage of CD133-1- and CD133-2-expressing cells according to clinicopathologic parameters and response to primary chemotherapy. CD133-1 and CD133-2 may be useful in order to select and enrich the population of CD133+ ovarian tumor cells, which are characterized by a higher clonogenic efficiency and proliferative potential.

  • CD133 antigen
  • ovarian cancer
  • stem cells

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.