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Diagn Cytopathol. 2002 Jun;26(6):366-72.

Diagnostic utility of galectin-3 and CD26/DPPIV as preoperative diagnostic markers for thyroid nodules.

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Department of Clinical Investigation, Miyazaki Medical College Hospital, Miyazaki, Japan.


The aim of this study was to search for diagnostic markers that could correctly identify thyroid nodular lesions requiring urgent surgical treatment. We investigated whether galectin-3 and dipeptidyl peptidase IV (CD26/DPPIV) could be potential markers for improving the diagnostic accuracy of conventional cytology. Seventy-nine patients with histologically proven thyroid diseases were analyzed. The immunocytochemical staining results showed galectin-3 expression in neoplastic cells of all 37 papillary carcinomas, five of six follicular carcinomas, all three anaplastic carcinomas, one of three medullary carcinomas, and two of 14 follicular adenomas. All 16 adenomatous goiters were negative for galectin-3 immunostaining. On the other hand, all 37 papillary carcinomas, all six follicular carcinomas, and one of three anaplastic carcinomas revealed CD26/DPPIV expression, whereas all three medullary carcinomas were negative. Among benign thyroid lesions, four of 14 follicular adenomas and two of 16 adenomatous goiters exhibited varying degrees of immunoreactivity for CD26/DPPIV. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated overexpression of galectin-3 and CD26/DPPIV mRNAs in all six papillary and all three follicular carcinomas analyzed, whereas the mRNA expressions of these molecules were barely or not detectable in benign thyroid lesions and normal thyroid tissues, except for one case of follicular adenoma. In conclusion, we demonstrate that galectin-3 and CD26/DPPIV were consistently coexpressed at protein and mRNA levels in differentiated thyroid carcinomas. We propose that combined immunostaining for galectin-3 and CD26/DPPIV in the preoperative evaluation of thyroid nodules may play a role in accurate cytodiagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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