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J Comp Pathol. 2009 May;140(4):247-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2008.12.005. Epub 2009 Feb 8.

COX-2 expression in canine normal and neoplastic mammary gland.

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Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar.


COX-2 expression was examined immunohistochemically in samples of normal canine mammary tissue (n=22) and benign (n=36) and malignant (n=45) mammary tumours including metastases (n=12). COX-2 was constitutively expressed in normal mammary tissue with membranous apical labelling of glandular epithelium, suggesting a role for this molecule in normal mammary physiology. By contrast, in neoplastic lesions and in adjacent non-neoplastic mammary tissue COX-2 was expressed in the cytoplasm of epithelial cells, suggesting that internalization of the molecule is associated with oncogenesis. Marked expression of COX-2 was observed in 8.3% of benign neoplasms and in 42.2% of malignant neoplasms, mainly in poorly differentiated areas. The majority of metastatic lesions (58.3%) exhibited strong COX-2 labelling and in almost all cases (83.3%) the labelling intensity was similar or stronger to that of the primary neoplasm. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that COX-2 metabolites are important promoters of angiogenesis and invasiveness and therefore contribute to metastatic spread.

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