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The Korean Journal of Pathology 1996;30(1): 15-22.
An Immunohistochemical Study of the Relationships between Estrogen and Progesterone Receptors and Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen in Endometrial Hyperplasia and Adenocarcinoma.
Seol Mi Park, Hye Kyoung Yoon, Jong Eun Joo
1Department of Pathology, Pusan Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, Inje University, Korea.
2Department of Pathology, Eulgi Medical Center, 139-231 Seoul, Korea.
Estrogen and progesterone receptors exist in the epithelial and stromal cells of the endometrium. Proliferative disorders of the endometrium may be associated with autocrine and paracrine actions of estrogen and progesterone in epithelial and stromal cells. This study was performed to evaluate the differences estrogen and progesterone receptor(ER/PR) expression in the epithelial and stromal cells of endometrial hyperplasias and adenocarcinomas using immunohistochemical methods. Immunohistochemical analysis of proliferating cell nuclear antigen(PCNA) was done to evaluate a possible correlation between PCNA and hormone receptor expression. Evaluation was based on samples from 31 simple hyperplasias, 30 complex hyperplasias, and 32 adenocarcinomas. The immunohistochemical expression of ER, PR and PCNA in epithelial and stromal cells were examined according to a scoring system based on the percentage of positive cells and the staining intensity. The results were as follows; 1) The expression of ER and PR in epithelial cells showed a graded, significant decreases in simple hyperplasia, complex hyperplasia and endometrial carcinoma, in that order(ER: P=0.008, PR: P= 0.026). 2) PR expression in the stromal cells showed a significant decrease between hyperplasia and adenocarcinoma(P=0.003). The difference in ER expression was not significant. 3) In stromal cells, the decrease in PR expression was more prominent than the decrease in ER expression when complex hyperplasia was compared to simple hyperplasia. 4) The PCNA expression in simple and complex hyperplasia and adenocarcinoma was not higher than the expression of PCNA in nomal proliferative endometrium. There was no significant difference in PCNA expression between simple and complex hyperplasia and adenocarcinoma(P=0.073). 5) A negative correlation between PCNA and ER/PR expression was not demonstrated in simple and complex hyperplasia, or in adenocarcinoma. Endometrial hyperplasia and adenocarcinoma are probably related to a paracrine action of estrogen and progesterone in epithelial and stromal cells. A progressive loss of PR expression in stromal cells may induce abnormal proliferation of endometrium due to a disrupted hormonal balance.
Key Words: Estrogen receptor(ER); Progesterone receptor(PR); Proliferating cell nuclear antigen(PCNA); Simple hyperplasia; Complex hyperplasia; Endometrial adenocarcinoma