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Vet J. 2013 Sep;197(3):782-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.05.005. Epub 2013 Jun 15.

COX-2 expression in canine anal sac adenocarcinomas and in non-neoplastic canine anal sacs.

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  • 1The Queen's Veterinary School Hospital, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK. Electronic address: csk32@cam.ac.uk.


Anal sac adenocarcinoma (ASAC) is a clinically significant canine neoplasm characterized by early lymphatic invasion. Up-regulation of cyclooxygenase isoform 2 (COX-2) has been confirmed in several animal and human neoplastic tissues. The aim of the current study was primarily to evaluate COX-2 expression in canine ASAC and compare it to COX-2 expression in non-neoplastic canine anal sac tissue using immunohistochemistry with scoring for percentage positivity and intensity. Twenty-five ASAC samples and 22 normal anal sacs were available for evaluation. All canine ASAC samples and the normal anal sac tissues stained positively for COX-2. However, while normal anal sac tissue showed strong staining of the ductal epithelial cells, ASAC samples showed staining of the neoplastic glandular epithelial cells, with varying percentage positivity and intensity between ASAC samples. COX-2 immunoreactivity of ASAC samples was of low intensity in 52% and high in 12% of the cases; the remaining samples were of intermediate intensity. Seventy-six per cent of the ASAC had over 50% of the neoplastic glandular cells staining positive. These results confirm that COX-2 is expressed in the neoplastic glandular epithelial cells in canine ASAC and suggest a potential role for COX-2 inhibitors in the management of ASAC. Furthermore, the results indicate that COX-2 is expressed in ductal epithelial cells of the normal anal sac.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Anal sac adenocarcinoma; COX-2; Canine; Immunohistochemistry

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