Syndecan-1 expression in malignant mesothelioma: correlation with cell differentiation, WT1 expression, and clinical outcome

J Pathol. 1998 Nov;186(3):300-5. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9896(1998110)186:3<300::AID-PATH180>3.0.CO;2-Q.


Syndecan-1 binds basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), modulates neovascularization, plays a role in epithelial differentiation and is up-regulated by WT1. Malignant mesothelioma of the pleura is one of the most aggressive tumours known and expresses high levels of angiogenic growth factors. This study has analysed syndecan-1 expression in mesothelioma tumours and cell lines by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting, using anti-syndecan-1 antibody directed against the core protein, and has examined its relation to morphology, bFGF, WT1, and intra-tumoural microvascular density (IMD). Shedding of syndecan-1 in the conditioned medium of mesothelioma cell lines was detected in variable amounts. These studies indicate that (1) there is no correlation of syndecan-1 with either bFGF expression or IMD in mesotheliomas in vivo; (2) syndecan-1 is strongly expressed in the epithelial type of mesothelioma and in the epithelial component of biphasic mesotheliomas and the expression is reduced or lost in sarcomatoid differentiation; together with the finding that (3) syndecan-1 correlates with WT1 immuno-expression, this suggests that syndecan-1 might relate to the differentiation state of mesothelial/mesothelioma cells; and (4) syndecan-1-positive tumours are associated with a longer survival (p = 0.02) than mesotheliomas with no or little syndecan-1 expression, on univariate analysis. These findings therefore indicate that syndecan-1 can be an important prognostic indicator in mesotheliomas and its loss may be important in the epithelial-mesenchymal transformation of mesothelioma cells.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / chemistry
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / analysis*
  • Epithelium / chemistry
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / analysis
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans*
  • Heparitin Sulfate / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis*
  • Mesothelioma / blood supply
  • Mesothelioma / chemistry*
  • Mesothelioma / mortality
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Proteoglycans / analysis*
  • Survival Rate
  • Syndecan-1
  • Syndecans
  • Transcription Factors / analysis*
  • WT1 Proteins


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Proteoglycans
  • SDC1 protein, human
  • Syndecan-1
  • Syndecans
  • Transcription Factors
  • WT1 Proteins
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • perlecan
  • Heparitin Sulfate