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J Histochem Cytochem. 2011 Oct;59(10):932-41. doi: 10.1369/0022155411418829. Epub 2011 Aug 10.

Expression of claudins and their prognostic significance in noninvasive urothelial neoplasms of the human urinary bladder.

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2nd Department of Pathology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.


The members of the claudin family are major integral transmembrane protein constituents of tight junctions. Normal and neoplastic tissues can be characterized by unique qualitative and quantitative distribution of claudin subtypes, which may be related to clinicopathological features. Differential diagnosis and prognosis of nonmuscle invasive tumor entities of urinary bladder epithelium are often challenging. The aim was to investigate the expression profile of claudins in inverted urothelial papillomas (IUPs), urothelial papillomas (UPs), papillary urothelial neoplasms of low malignant potential (PUNLMPs), and intraepithelial (Ta), low-grade urothelial cell carcinomas (LG-UCCs) in order to reveal potential prognostic and differential diagnostic values of certain claudins. Claudin-1, -2, -4, and -7 protein expressions detected by immunohistochemistry and clinical data were analyzed in 15 IUPs, 20 UPs, 20 PUNLMPs, and 20 LG-UCCs. UPs, PUNLMPs, and LG-UCCs showed significantly decreased claudin-1 expression in comparison to IUPs. LG-UCCs expressing claudin-4 over the median were associated with significantly shorter recurrence-free survival. PUNLMPs expressing claudin-1 over the median revealed significantly longer recurrence-free survival. High claudin-1 protein expression might help to differentiate IUP from UPs, PUNLMPs, and LG-UCCs. High claudin-4 expression may determine an unfavorable clinical course of LG-UCCs, while high claudin-1 expression in PUNLMP was associated with markedly better clinical outcome.

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