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Am J Pathol. 1993 Jul;143(1):154-63.

Characterization of integrin receptors in normal and neoplastic human brain.

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  • 1Institute of Pathology, University of W├╝rzburg, Germany.


We studied the immunohistochemical expression of integrin alpha and beta chains in the normal and neoplastic human brain. Normal astrocytes expressed alpha 2, alpha 3, alpha 6, beta 1, and beta 4 chains in some areas facing major interstitial tissues, but they were consistently negative for the other integrins examined (alpha 4, alpha 5, alpha V, alpha L, alpha M, alpha X, beta 2, beta 3). Neoplastic astrocytes in vivo and in vitro showed increased expression of alpha 3 and beta 1, and some also of alpha 5, alpha V, beta 3, and beta 4. Neoexpression of alpha 4 and reduced levels of beta 4 were detected in glioblastoma vascular proliferations compared with normal endothelial cells. Oligodendroglioma, ependymoma, choroid plexus papilloma, pituitary adenoma, and meningioma cells showed the same integrin pattern as their normal counterparts. Adhesion assays using the astrocytoma cell lines U-138 MG and U-373 MG revealed strong attachment to collagen types I to VI and undulin, which was inhibited by antibodies to beta 1, but not by those to alpha 2, alpha 3, alpha 6, and alpha V. We conclude that astrocytomas show increased levels or neoexpression of various integrins and strong attachment to various extracellular matrix components, which appears to be almost exclusively mediated by beta 1-integrins.

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