Aims: To investigate tie-1 expression in human thyroid neoplasms. Recent studies have demonstrated that receptor-type tyrosine kinases (RTKs) contribute to carcinoma progression. Tie-1 is one of the RTKs and plays a role in angiogenesis, although its pathophysiological significance in human carcinoma is still to be elucidated.
Methods and results: Immunohistochemical expression of tie-1 was studied in various thyroid neoplasms. Tie-1 immunoreactivity was only occasionally observed in normal follicular cells. In papillary carcinoma, tie-1 was classified as positive in carcinoma cells in 55.7% of the cases and was more frequently expressed in those of smaller size with an absence of a poorly differentiated lesion. In contrast, tie-1 was positive in only 8.3% of anaplastic carcinoma and no cases of follicular carcinoma or adenoma were positive.
Conclusions: These results suggest that tie-1 has a role in thyroid tumorigenesis, especially in the early phase of papillary carcinoma, but it is not important in the progression of anaplastic carcinoma or follicular tumour.