Immunohistochemical detection of the Wilms' tumor gene (WT1) in epithelial ovarian tumors

Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2000 Apr;19(2):158-63. doi: 10.1097/00004347-200004000-00010.


The Wilms' tumor gene WT1 plays multiple roles in the development of the genitourinary organs and Wilms' tumors. The aims of this study were to immunohistochemically evaluate WT1 expression in normal female genital tissues and in epithelial ovarian tumors and to look for correlations between WT1 expression and histologic subtypes and cell proliferation in epithelial ovarian tumors. In normal female genital organs, WT1 expression was recognized in ovarian surface epithelium, the lining of inclusion cysts, and tubal epithelium, but not in the cervical or endometrial epithelium. In epithelial ovarian tumors, serous tumors generally revealed a high WT1 expression. Among adenocarcinomas, serous carcinoma revealed a significantly higher WT1 expression than the other histologic subtypes. There were no significant correlations between the WT1 labeling index and the Ki-67 labeling index, and no significant difference in survival between those showing high and low WT1 expression among the malignant cases. These results suggest that WT1 expression may be related to cell differentiation, and that the histologic subtypes of epithelial ovarian carcinomas may differ considerably in their biological characteristics.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Endometrioid / genetics
  • Cell Division
  • Epithelium / chemistry
  • Female
  • Gene Expression*
  • Genes, Wilms Tumor*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry*
  • Ki-67 Antigen / analysis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology


  • Ki-67 Antigen