Histochemical and Immunohistochemical Study of α-SMA, Collagen, and PCNA in Epithelial Ovarian Neoplasm

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Anatomical Pathology, Medical Faculty/Sardjito Hospital, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia

2 Department of Anatomy, Medical Faculty, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia


Background: Alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) is an isoform of actin, positive in myofibroblasts and is an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) marker. EMT is a process by which tumor cells develop to be more hostile and able to metastasize. Progression of tumor cells is always followed by cell composition and extracellular matrix component alteration. Increased α-SMA expression and collagen alteration may predict the progressivity of ovarian neoplasms. Objective: The aim of this research was to analyse the characteristic of α-SMA and collagen in tumor cells and stroma of ovarian neoplasms. In this study, PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen) expression was also investigated. Methods: Thirty samples were collected including serous, mucinous, endometrioid, and clear cell subtypes. The expression of α-SMA and PCNA were calculated in cells and stroma of ovarian tumors. Collagen was detected using Sirius Red staining and presented as area fraction. Results: The overexpressions of α-SMA in tumor cells were only detected in serous and clear cell ovarian carcinoma. The histoscore of α-SMA was higher in malignant than in benign or borderline ovarian epithelial neoplasms (105.3±129.9 vs. 17.3±17.1, P=0.011; mean±SD). Oppositely, stromal α-SMA and collagen area fractions were higher in benign than in malignant tumors (27.2±6.6 vs 20.5±8.4, P=0.028; 31.0±5.6 vs. 23.7±6.4, P=0.04). The percentages of epithelial and stromal PCNA expressions were not significantly different between benign and malignant tumors. Conclusion: Tumor cells of serous and clear cell ovarian carcinoma exhibit mesenchymal characteristic as shown by α-SMA positive expression. This expression might indicate that these subtypes were more aggressive. This research showed that collagen and α-SMA area fractions in stroma were higher in benign than in malignant neoplasms.


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