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Cancer. 1991 Feb 15;67(4):984-9.

Immunohistologic evaluation of parathyroid hormone-related protein in human lung cancer and normal tissue with newly developed monoclonal antibody.

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Second Department of Pathology, Kobe University, School of Medicine, Japan.


With a newly developed monoclonal anti-PTHrP antibody, 4B3, the immunohistochemical localization of the parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) was studied on the formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded sections of normal human tissues and various subtypes of lung cancer. Among normal epithelial tissues, keratinocytes in squamous epithelia, transitional and bronchial epithelia with squamous metaplasia, meningoepithelial cells, and mammary ductal cells with lactating changes showed positive immunoreactivity. Also, among endocrine tissues, cells in the parathyroid gland, pancreatic islets, adrenal cortex, pituitary gland, and testis were sporadically positive for PTHrP. These distribution patterns suggested that in a physiologic condition, PTHrP was closely related to keratinization and local secretion and/or the metabolism of calcium in specifically differentiated tissues. In lung cancer, however, PTHrP was detected in all cases of well-differentiated and moderately differentiated squamous cell carcinoma and in most cases of small cell carcinoma, irrespective of the patients' serum calcium level. However, PTHrP was not detected in two of five cases of poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma and in all cases of adenocarcinoma. Consequently, it was found that PTHrP was commonly produced by squamous cell carcinomas of the differentiated type, and that humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy could be induced when the PTHrP transgressed the homeostatic mechanisms.

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