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Am J Pathol. 2004 Mar;164(3):903-14.

Gene expression profiling identifies genes associated with invasive intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms of the pancreas.

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Departments of Pathology, the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21205-2196, USA.


The molecular pathology of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) of the pancreas has not been well characterized, and there are no reliable markers to predict the presence of an associated invasive carcinoma in IPMNs. Using oligonucleotide microarrays, we performed a large-scale gene expression profiling of 12 IPMNs with or without an associated invasive carcinoma. A subset of genes identified was validated for the gene expression patterns in a large panel of IPMNs by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and/or immunohistochemistry. A total of 673 transcripts were identified as expressed at significantly higher levels (P < 0.05 and at fivefold or greater) in IPMNs relative to normal pancreatic ductal epithelial samples. Of interest, many of the genes identified as overexpressed in IPMNs have also been previously reported to be highly expressed in infiltrating ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. By analyzing genes overexpressed selectively in IPMNs with an associated invasive carcinoma (n = 7), we also identified a panel of genes potentially associated with the invasive phenotype of the neoplasms. Immunohistochemical validation revealed that claudin 4, CXCR4, S100A4, and mesothelin were expressed at significantly high frequency in invasive IPMNs than in noninvasive IPMNs. Notably, the expression of at least two of the four proteins was observed in 73% of 22 invasive IPMNs but in none of 16 noninvasive IPMNs (P < 0.0001). Our findings suggest that preoperative assessment of gene expression profiles may be able to differentiate invasive from noninvasive IPMNs.

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