COX-2, mPGES-1 and EP2 receptor immunohistochemical expression in canine and feline malignant mammary tumours



Prostaglandin (PG) signalling is involved in human and animal cancer development. PG E2 (PGE2) tumour-promoting activity has been confirmed and its production is controlled by Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and microsomal PGE synthase-1 (mPGES-1). Evidence suggests that mPGES-1 and COX-2 contribute to carcinogenesis through the EP2 receptor. The aim of our study was to detect by immunohistochemistry COX-2, mPGES-1 and EP2 receptor expression in canine (n = 46) and feline (n = 50) mammary tumours and in mammary non-neoplastic tissues. COX-2 positivity was observed in 83% canine and 81% feline mammary carcinomas, mPGES-1 in 75% canine and 66% feline mammary carcinomas and the EP2 receptor expression was observed in 89% canine and 54% feline carcinomas. The frequency of COX-2, EP2 receptor and mPGES-1 expression was significantly higher in carcinomas than in non-neoplastic tissues and adenomas. COX-2, mPGES-1 and EP2 receptor expression was strongly associated. These findings support a role of the COX-2/PGE2 pathway in the pathogenesis of these tumours.