Background/aims: Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is a primary liver malignant tumor with an extremely poor prognosis, but less attention has been directed to factors related to molecular carcinogenesis, including cell cycle proteins. We examined the expression and gene amplification of cyclin D1, the cell cycle regulating protein. Our objective was to evaluate correlations with clinicopathological factors in ICC.
Methods: Cyclin D1 overexpression and cellular proliferative activity (Ki-67 labeling index) were investigated immunohistochemically, and 20 cases were further investigated for cyclin D1 gene amplification, using differential PCR. We examined the correlation between the expression and gene amplification of cyclin D1 and clinicopathological factors, including overall survival in patients with ICC.
Results: Immunohistochemical analysis revealed an overexpression of cyclin D1 protein in 28 of 66 subjects with ICCs (42%). The cyclin D1 overexpression was associated with poor histological differentiation (P = 0.04), high cellular proliferative activity (P < 0.01), and a poor prognosis (P = 0.02) by univariate analysis, although it is not an independent prognostic factor by multivariate analysis. Cyclin D1 gene amplification was confirmed in five of the 20 patients. Of those five cases of ICC, all had poor histological differentiation, and four of the five ICCs (80%) showed evidence of cyclin D1 immunoreactivity.
Conclusions: Overexpression and gene amplification of cyclin D1 are frequent and contribute to dedifferentiation and cellular proliferative activity of ICCs, and overexpression also indicates a poor prognosis for patients with ICC.