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Histochem Cell Biol. 2009 Feb;131(2):283-95. doi: 10.1007/s00418-008-0510-z. Epub 2008 Oct 14.

Immunohistochemistry, glycosylation and immunosuppression of glycodelin in human ovarian cancer.

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Ist Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Maistrasse 11, 80337, Munich, Germany.


Glycodelins (Gds) are glycoproteins with a gender specific glycosylation. Glycodelin A (GdA) is primarily produced in endometrial and decidual tissue and secreted to amniotic fluid. Glycodelins were also identified in several cancer types, including serous ovarian cancer. Gds act as a T-cell inhibitor and are involved in inactivation of human monocytes. With a Gd peptide antibody, derived from a 15 amino acid sequence of human Gd and in situ hybridization experiments, the expression of Gd in serous, mucinous, endometrioid and clear cell ovarian tumors was identified. In contrast to former investigations with antibodies against GdA, a positive immunohistochemical reaction for Gd was observed in all forms of epithelium ovarian cancer. These results were confirmed with in situ hybridization. In addition, Gd is expressed in granulose cell tumors, a non-epithelial form of ovarian cancer. Furthermore, Gd was purified from ascites fluid of ovarian cancer patients. Ascites Gd showed significant differences in its structure of sialyl Lewis-type oligosaccharides compared to GdA. Additionally, ascites Gd inhibits IL-2 stimulated proliferation of peripheral blood leucocytes and inhibits adhesion of SLe(X)-positive cells to E-selectin. Therefore, Gd could act as an inhibitor of lymphocyte activation and/or adhesion in ovarian cancer.

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