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Clin Cancer Res. 1996 Apr;2(4):773-82.

Localization of platelet-derived growth factor beta receptor expression in the periepithelial stroma of human breast carcinoma.

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Cancer Research Laboratories, Queen's University, and Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada.


Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) BB is secreted by most human breast carcinoma cells; however, only recently have PDGF beta receptors been demonstrated in malignant breast tissue. In the present study, the tissue localization of PDGF beta receptor expression was studied in human breast carcinoma and nonmalignant breast tissues stained using both immunofluorescence and immunoperoxidase techniques. We examined a total of 29 cases of breast carcinomas, which showed both in situ and invasive components. PDGF beta receptor staining was localized in the periepithelial stroma and was particularly intense in regions immediately adjacent to carcinoma in situ components in all tumors examined. A diffuse low level of PDGF beta receptor staining was seen throughout the stroma of eight nonmalignant breast tissues as well as of nonmalignant regions of tumor tissues. Image analysis was used to assess the coincidence of staining of PDGF beta receptor with epithelial or stromal cells in 13 of the 29 tumor tissues studied. Less than 5% of malignant ductal epithelium or myoepithelium showed PDGF beta receptor staining. Analysis with stromal cell type-specific markers indicated significant localization of PDGF beta receptor primarily within alpha smooth muscle actin-staining cells (32%) and vascular endothelial cells (41%) in the periepithelial stroma. PDGF beta receptor positivity was strongly associated with periepithelial stromal cells adjacent to the basement membrane surrounding regions of carcinoma in situ but was less intense in regions of invasive carcinoma where basement membrane was degraded. The absence of PDGF beta receptors on carcinoma cells and their presence in the surrounding stroma suggest a paracrine stimulation of adjacent stromal tissue by malignant epithelial cells in human breast tumors.

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