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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 71-76
Expression of E-cadherin in primary oral squamous cell carcinoma and metastatic lymph nodes: An immunohistochemical study


1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial, Manipal College of Dental Sciences and Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India
2 Departments of General Pathology, Manipal College of Dental Sciences and Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Sunitha Carnelio
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial, Manipal College of Dental Sciences and Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.49075

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Background: E-cadherin plays an important role in cell-to-cell adhesion and cell motility and its loss is associated with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) progression. The aim of this study was to determine the expression of E-cadherin in various grades of OSCC and to correlate changes in the expression between these various grades and metastatic lymph nodes. Materials and Methods: Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to detect E-cadherin expression in normal oral mucosa, primary OSCC ( n = 37), and metastatic lymph nodes ( n = 10). E-cadherin immunoreactivity was correlated with grades of differentiation and with clinicopathological features. Results: E-cadherin immunoreactivity was found to inversely correlate with the loss of cell differentiation. The expression of E-cadherin decreased significantly in advanced cases of OSCC. However, increase in E-cadherin immunoreactivity was seen in early lesions, that is, in well differentiated ( n = 9) and moderately differentiated OSCC ( n = 13). Furthermore, E-cadherin was negative in majority of metastatic lymph nodes (7/10). Conclusions: Loss of the cell adhesion and E-cadherin plays an important role in progression of OSCC, that is, down regulation of its expression is associated with de-differentiation and metastasis.


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