Background: Some matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are involved in invasion and metastasis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, there are few studies on association between stromelysin-2 (ST-2) and invasive behavior of HNSCC. The purpose of this study was to investigate Stromelysin-2 expression by immunohistochemistry. Materials and
Methods: This study was conducted on 81 specimens, including 61 HNSCC and 20 non neoplastic epithelium. Sections with 5 micron thickness were prepared and stained with immunohistochemistry technique. Then expression of ST-2 was evaluated according to percentage of stained cells and intensity of staining. Data were analyzed by SPSS (V.21) using Kruskal-Wallis and Tukey tests (P<0.05).
Results: The 61 HNSCC specimens were grades I 36.1%, II 34.4% and III 29.5%. The level of ST-2 expressions were moderate (++) and intensive (+++) in 21.3% and 78.7% of tumors, respectively. The ST-2 expression level was only significant between the tumors with grade I and grade III (P=0.016). Tumors presented ST-2 expression with staining intensity of mild 6.6%, moderate 26.2% and strong 67.2%. Staining intensity of ST-2 in grade I tumors was significantly lower than grade II and grade III (P<0.05), and there was no significant difference between grades II and III (P=0.99).
Conclusions: According to this study, the expression of ST-2 is associated with histopathological grade and tumor differentiation in HNSCCs.