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Comparative Evaluation of Estrogen and Progesterone Receptor Expression With Connexins 26 and 43 in Endometrial Cancer
  1. Tomasz Lesniewicz, MD, PhD*,
  2. Luiza Kanczuga-Koda, MD, PhD,
  3. Marek Baltaziak, MD, PhD*,
  4. Katarzyna Jarzabek, PhD,
  5. Ryszard Rutkowski, MD, PhD,
  6. Mariusz Koda, MD, PhD*,
  7. Andrzej Wincewicz, MD, PhD,
  8. Mariola Sulkowska, MD, PhD* and
  9. Stanisław Sulkowski, MD, PhD*
  1. *Departments of General Pathomorphology,
  2. Medical Pathomorphology,
  3. Reproduction and Gynaecological Endocrinology, and
  4. §Respiratory Diagnostics and Bronchofiberoscopy, Medical University of Bialystok, Waszyngtona, Bialystok, Poland.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Mariola Sulkowska MD, PhD, Department of General Pathomorphology, Medical University of Bialystok, Waszyngtona 13, 15-269 Bialystok. E-mail: sulek{at}


Progression of numerous neoplasms could involve alterations of gap junction channels composed of connexins (Cxs). Disorders of expression and cellular displacement of Cxs were also found in endometrial cancer. Gap junctional intercellular communication can be regulated by wide array of agents, for instance, growth factors, oncogenes, and steroid hormones. Nevertheless, expressions of Cxs and progesterone receptor (PR) were not compared in human tissues. This study focused on assessment of expression of estrogen receptor α (ERα) and PRs in relation to the expression of Cx26 and Cx43 in 88 cases of endometrial cancer and analysis of these proteins' expression in comparison with anatomoclinical features. Positive ERα and PR nuclear staining was present in 66 (75%) and 60 (68.2%) of all studied tumors, respectively. Positive correlation was found between expression of PR and histopathologic type of tumor (P = 0.026), and negative correlation was drawn with grading (G) (P = 0.002). There were positive reactions to Cx26 and Cx43 of mainly cytoplasmic location in 60 (68.2%) and 66 (75%) of studied cancers, respectively. Progesterone receptor expression correlated negatively with Cx26 in endometrial cancers (P = 0.016, r = −0.256). Moreover, ERα expression positively correlated with PR expression (P < 0.001, r = 0.678). On the ground of our findings, disorders of Cx expression and altered distribution pattern occur during endometrial carcinogenesis, and it seems that PR could participate in this fact. Loss of functional gap junctions may occur because of the aberrant expression and localization of Cx26 and Cx43 in endometrial cancer.

  • Connexin 26
  • Connexin 43
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Progesterone receptor
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry

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