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J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2017 Nov-Dec;7(6):301-307. doi: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_323_17. Epub 2017 Dec 29.

Expression of Vascular Endothelial-Cadherin in Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma: Role in Cancer Development.

Author information

Department of Oral Pathology, Dental Research Centre, Research Centre for Molecular Medicine, Dental Faculty, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.
Department of Pathology, Besat Hospital, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.



Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) accounts for 35% of all malignant salivary gland tumors. Previous investigations have shown that vasculogenic mimicry (VM) exists in many cancers which can be used as a prognostic factor of poor prognosis. Elevated expression level of vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin has been implicated in cancer neovascularization, growth, and progression. The current study aimed to study the presence of VE-cadherin in VM channels and tumor cells in different grades of MEC.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 63 MEC samples (21 samples in each grade) were collected from the archive of pathology department of Besat Educational Hospital, Hamadan, Iran, from 2002 to 2016. Hematoxylin and eosin staining was performed to confirm the previous diagnosis. The specimens were then processed for immunohistochemistry analysis. Then, periodic acid-Schiff staining was performed. Analyses were conducted through SPSS software version 22.0 (SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Chi-square test was used to examine the differences between categorical variables. Significance level was set at 0.05. Pearson's correlation was used to assess the co-localization of the marker.


A total of 63 samples (35 men; 55.6%, and 28 women; 44.4%) were used for immunohistochemical study. There were statistically significant differences between tumor grade and the expression levels of VE-cadherin (P = 0.000), between tumor grade and VM formation (P = 0.000), and also between tumor grade and microvessel density (MVD) (P = 0.000). Additionally, there was a strong positive correlation between tumor grade and VE-cadherin expression level (Pearson's r = 0.875, P < 0.000).


Our results may disclose a definite relationship between VE-cadherin expression level, VM, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, cancer stem cells, and MVD in MEC samples. Thus, it is reasonable to suggest that VE-cadherin is related to angiogenesis and VM formation in MECs.


Mucoepidermoid carcinoma; salivary gland tumors; vascular endothelial-cadherin; vasculogenic mimicry

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