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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Immunohistochemical detection of hepatocyte growth factor, transforming growth factor-beta and their receptors in epithelial odontogenic tumors.

BACKGROUND: Tumors derived from odontogenic epithelium exhibit considerable variation and are classified into several benign and malignant entities. To clarify the role of growth factors in oncogenesis, cytodifferentiation and progression of epithelial odontogenic tumors, expression of hepatocyte growth factor ( HGF), transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and their receptors were analyzed in these tumors as well as in tooth germs. METHODS: Specimens of five tooth germs, 34 ameloblastomas, three calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumors (CEOTs), two clear cell odontogenic tumors (CCOTs), five adenomatoid odontogenic tumors (AOTs), six calcifying odontogenic cysts (COCs) and six malignant ameloblastomas were examined immunohistochemically with the use of antibodies against HGF, TGF-beta and their receptors. RESULTS: In tooth germs and epithelial odontogenic tumors, immunoreactivity for HGF and TGF-beta was detected in both epithelial and mesenchymal cells, while expression of their receptors was found only in epithelial cells. In tooth germs and main types of ameloblastomas, HGF and TGF-beta reactivity was marked in epithelial cells near the basement membrane, and their receptors were diffusely positive in most epithelial cells. In subtypes of ameloblastomas, reduced expression of HGF, c-Met and TGF-beta and increased reactivity for TGF-beta receptors were detected in keratinizing cells in acanthomatous ameloblastomas, and granular cells in granular cell ameloblastomas demonstrated little or no expression of HGF, TGF-beta or their receptors. As compared with main types of ameloblastomas, basal cell ameloblastomas showed high HGF reactivity, and desmoplastic ameloblastomas exhibited elevated reactivity for TGF-beta and its receptors. Neoplastic cells in CEOTs, AOTs and COCs showed reactivity for HGF, TGF-beta and their receptors. Elevated HGF and TGF-beta reactivity was found in pseudoglandular cells in AOTs, and high expression of their receptors was noted in ghost cells in COCs. Metastasizing ameloblastomas showed similar expression patterns of HGF, TGF-beta and their receptors to those of benign ameloblastomas, while CCOTs and ameloblastic carcinomas had increased HGF expression and low reactivity for TGF-beta and its receptors as compared with benign ameloblastomas. CONCLUSIONS: Immunohistochemical localization of HGF, TGF-beta and their receptors in tooth germs and epithelial odontogenic tumors supports the hypothesis that HGF and TGF-beta act on epithelial cells via paracrine and autocrine mechanisms. Altered expression of the agents in these epithelial odontogenic tumors, especially subtypes of ameloblastomas, AOTs and COCs, suggests that HGF and TGF-beta signaling might affect differentiation of neoplastic odontogenic epithelial cells. Activated HGF/c-Met pathway and reduced TGF-beta signaling in CCOTs and ameloblastic carcinomas may be associated with the malignant potential of these epithelial odontogenic tumors.[1]


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