A Correlative Study of N-Cadherin Expression with Different Grades of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Projecting as a Marker of Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in Tumor Progression

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, KVG Dental College and Hospital Sullia, karnataka, India.

2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education(MAHE), Karnataka-576104, India.


Background: Epithelial cells typically express E-cadherin where as N-cadherin expressed by mesenchymal cells.
The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a process by which epithelial cells lose their cell polarity and cell-cell
adhesion, and gain migratory and invasive properties to become mesenchymal cells. EMT is typical for carcinoma cells
during tumor progression and correlate with the local invasiveness and metastatic potential of the tumor. Oral squamous
cell carcinoma is a malignant neoplasm arising from the mucosal epithelium of the oral cavity. It can be classified
as well; moderate and poor depends on a tumor cells resemblance to its tissue of origin. Materials and Methods: A
total of 130 cases of histopathologically diagnosed as OSCC were selected for the study, out of which 66,38 and 26
were well, moderate and poorly differentiated respectively. One section was stained with Haematoxylin and Eosin
and the other section for N-cadherin immunohistochemical study. Then the N-cadherin expression was correlated
histopathologically with different grades of OSCC. Statistical analysis was carried out mainly by Chi-Square analysis.
Results: Among the 66 cases of WDSCC mean value of N-cadherin expression was 1.79, 38 cases of MDSCC mean
value of N-cadherin expression was 4.16 and among the 26 cases of PDSCC the mean value was 6.38.That means the
value of N- cadherin expression was progressively increasing with decreased differentiation of the tumor cells. The
statistical analysis also shown it was highly significant (P<0.001). Conclusion: A correlative study of N-cadherin
expression with different grades of OSCC will be useful to predict the state of tumor progression and also it may give
accuracy for histopathogical grading of the tumor.


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