Aims: To identify the role of CD10 expression of tumour-associated fibroblastic cells in the progression of cholangiocarcinoma (CC).
Methods and results: The CD10 expression of fibroblastic cells was investigated immunohistochemically in 167 cases of intrahepatic and extrahepatic CC and 29 cases of biliary dysplasia, comparing the clinicopathological parameters. CD10 expression of fibroblastic cells was observed in 5.7% (4/70) of peripheral intrahepatic CC, 29.2% (14/48) of hilar intrahepatic CC, and 57.1% (28/49) of extrahepatic CC. As for biliary dysplasia, CD10 expression of fibroblastic cells was observed in 4.3% (1/23) in the hepatic hilum and 20% (3/15) in the extrahepatic bile duct. CD10 expression had a strong relationship with the anatomical location of CC, and was more frequently detected in the periductal infiltrating type of hilar intrahepatic CC (P < 0.0001) and in less differentiated cases in extrahepatic CC (P = 0.0151). CD10 expression was observed more frequently in CC than in biliary dysplasia of hepatic hilum (P = 0.0365) and extrahepatic bile duct (P = 0.0262). CD10 expression was not a prognostic indicator in CC.
Conclusions: We suggest that CD10+ fibroblasts are more involved in the progression of hilar and extrahepatic CC than of peripheral intrahepatic CC.