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World J Surg. 1996 Jan;20(1):101-6.

Stromal fibroblasts adjacent to invasive thyroid tumors: expression of gelatinase A but not stromelysin 3 mRNA.

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Department of Surgery, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Thyroid tumors vary widely in biologic behavior, they range from benign adenomas to rapidly growing anaplastic carcinomas. Among thyroid neoplasms, the follicular tumor is especially suited as a model for studies of tumor cell invasion; the distinction between adenomas and carcinomas relies mainly on the presence of capsular and vascular invasion. Matrix metalloproteinases play an important role in tumor cell invasion, as they are able to degrade basement membrane and extracellular matrix components. Twenty-nine thyroid tumors of varying type and aggressiveness were selected for analysis of relative molecular weight 72,000-dalton type IV collagenase (gelatinase A) expression by mRNA in situ hybridization. Strong gelatinase A mRNA expression was seen in 10 of 14 follicular carcinomas, in none of six follicular adenomas, in all four anaplastic carcinomas, and in four of five papillary carcinomas. The expression was restricted to fibroblasts in the stroma adjacent or close to invading tumor cells. Twelve of the tumors were also investigated for expression of stromelysin 3 mRNA, no expression of which was detected in any tumor. The findings suggest that gelatinase A contributes to the invasive process and spread of aggressive thyroid tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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