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J Histochem Cytochem. 2011 Nov;59(11):1022-30. doi: 10.1369/0022155411424606.

Claudins and ki-67: potential markers to differentiate low- and high-grade transitional cell carcinomas of the urinary bladder.

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  • 1Second Department of Pathology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.


Updated classification of urothelial cell cancer differentiates low-grade and high-grade cancers, which determines potential clinical outcome. Substantial interobserver variability necessitates new biomarkers to ensure classification. Claudins' specific expression pattern characterizes normal tissues, different tumor types, and defined grades of tumor differentiation. The aim of this study was to examine the expression pattern of claudins and proliferation marker Ki-67 in low-grade and high-grade urothelial cell cancers compared with independent control samples of non-tumorous urothelium, as well as to reveal the predictive usefulness of claudins. The expression of claudins-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -7, and -10 and Ki-67 was studied with quantitative immunohistochemistry and real-time RT-PCR with relative quantification in 103 samples: 86 urothelial cell cancers (27 low grade, 59 high grade) and 17 non-tumorous urothelia. Results were analyzed regarding overall survival and recurrence-free period as well. High-grade tumors overall showed significantly higher claudin-4 and Ki-67 and significantly lower claudin-7 expression when compared with low-grade ones. High-grade tumors revealed significantly shorter overall survival in Kaplan-Meier analysis. Claudin-4, claudin-7, and Ki-67 might be used as potential markers to differentiate low-grade and high-grade urothelial cell cancers, thereby possibly enhancing accuracy of pathological diagnosis and adding further information to clinical outcome.

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