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Pathology. 2016 Dec;48(7):666-674. doi: 10.1016/j.pathol.2016.08.002. Epub 2016 Oct 27.

High endothelial venule-like vessels and lymphocyte recruitment in diffuse sclerosing variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma.

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Department of Tumor Pathology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Fukui, Eiheiji, Japan.
Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Kuma Hospital, Kobe, Japan.
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.
Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Aizawa Hospital, Matsumoto, Japan.
Division of Surgical Pathology, University of Fukui Hospital, Eiheiji, Japan.
Department of Tumor Pathology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Fukui, Eiheiji, Japan. Electronic address:


Diffuse sclerosing variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (DSPTC) is a rare subtype of papillary thyroid carcinoma with a high incidence of lymph node metastasis. One of its characteristic histological features is the presence of dense lymphocyte infiltrates; however, how these lymphocytes are recruited in this pathological setting remains unclear. Here, we analysed 17 DSPTC cases immunohistologically for cell adhesion molecules expressed on endothelial cells. We found that venules morphologically similar to high endothelial venules (HEVs) in secondary lymphoid organs were induced in lymphoid aggregates in DSPTC, and such HEV-like vessels expressed 6-sulfo sialyl Lewis X (sLeX) glycans as well as intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1). Triple immunohistochemistry revealed that CD8+ cytotoxic T cells were the major lymphocyte subset attached to the luminal surface of HEV-like vessels. sLeX-type glycans were also expressed on DSPTC carcinoma cells, which in binding assays were decorated with E-selectin•IgM chimaeras calcium-dependently. These findings collectively suggest that 6-sulfo sLeX glycans, together with ICAM-1, on HEV-like vessels may function to recruit CD8+ cytotoxic T cells in DSPTC. Additionally, sLeX-type glycans on carcinoma cells might partly contribute to highly metastatic properties of DSPTC through interaction with E-selectin expressed on endothelial cells.


6-sulfo sialyl Lewis X (sLeX); Cytotoxic T cell; diffuse sclerosing variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (DSPTC); high endothelial venule-like vessel (HEV-like vessels); intercellular cell adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1); lymphocyte recruitment

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