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Am J Pathol. 2000 Feb;156(2):621-7.

Expression of an intestine-specific transcription factor (CDX1) in intestinal metaplasia and in subsequently developed intestinal type of cholangiocarcinoma in rat liver.

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Department of Pathology, Division of Cellular Pathogenesis, Medical College of Virginia, Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA.


CDX1 is a caudal-type homeobox intestine-specific transcription factor that has been shown to be selectively expressed in epithelial cells in intestinal metaplasia of the human stomach and esophagus and variably expressed in human gastric and esophageal adenocarcinomas (Silberg DG, Furth EE, Taylor JK, Schuck T, Chiou T, Traber PG: Gastroenterology 1997, 113: 478-486). Through the use of immunohistochemistry and Western blotting, we investigated whether CDX1 is also uniquely associated with the intestinal metaplasia associated with putative precancerous cholangiofibrosis induced in rat liver during furan cholangiocarcinogenesis, as well as expressed in neoplastic glands in a subsequently developed intestinal type of cholangiocarcinoma. In normal, control adult rat small intestine, specific nuclear immunoreactivity for CDX1 was most prominent in enterocytes lining the crypts. In comparison, epithelium from intestinal metaplastic glands within furan-induced hepatic cholangiofibrosis and neoplastic epithelium from later developed primary intestinal-type cholangiocarcinoma each demonstrated strong nuclear immunoreactivity for CDX1. CDX1-positive cells were detected in hepatic cholangiofibrotic tissue as early as 3 weeks after the start of chronic furan treatment. We further determined that the percentages of CDX1-positive neoplastic glands and glandular nuclei are significantly higher in primary tumors than in a derived, transplantable cholangiocarcinoma serially-propagated in vivo. Western blotting confirmed our immunohistochemical results, and no CDX1 immunoreactivity was detected in normal adult rat liver or in hyperplastic biliary epithelial cells. These findings indicate that CDX1 is specifically associated with early intestinal metaplasia and a later developed intestinal-type of cholangiocarcinoma induced in the liver of furan-treated rats.

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