Differential expression of the anterior gradient protein-2 is a conserved feature during morphogenesis and carcinogenesis of the biliary tree
Article first published online: 21 JAN 2011
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Volume 31, Issue 3, pages 322–328, March 2011
How to Cite
Lepreux, S., Bioulac-Sage, P. and Chevet, E. (2011), Differential expression of the anterior gradient protein-2 is a conserved feature during morphogenesis and carcinogenesis of the biliary tree. Liver International, 31: 322–328. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2010.02438.x
- Issue published online: 1 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 21 JAN 2011
- Received 5 October 2010, Accepted 4 December 2010
- biliary tree;
Background: The anterior gradient protein-2 (AGR2) is overexpressed in numerous tumours such as breast, prostate or pancreas carcinomas and recently reported in fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Aims: In the present study, we further describe AGR2 expression patterns all along the adult and fetal biliary tree and in cholangiocarcinomas.
Methods: Immunohistochemistry using anti-AGR2 antibodies was performed in adult and fetal livers, gallbladders as well as cholangiocarcinomas and HCCs.
Results: In adult and fetal liver, the tall epithelial cells covering the large bile ducts as well as gallbladder epithelial cells showed strong AGR2 staining. Hilar and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas, and a subset of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas, which displayed a morphological mucus-excreting feature, also displayed AGR2 expression. In contrast, AGR2 expression was not detected in typical HCCs.
Conclusion: Our study shows that the differential expression of AGR2 is a phenotypic feature of the cholangiocytes covering different segments of the biliary tree. This pattern of expression is conserved during fetal and adult life, as well as during biliary carcinogenesis.