Sialosyl-Tn antigen. Its distribution in normal human tissues and expression in adenocarcinomas

Am J Clin Pathol. 1992 Aug;98(2):167-74. doi: 10.1093/ajcp/98.2.167.


In normal adult human tissues, sialosyl-Tn antigen, detected by monoclonal antibody TKH2, was uniformly found in the bronchus, uterus, salivary gland, palatine tonsil, testis, stomach, duodenum, and capillary endothelium of several organs. It was also sporadically found in the small intestine, appendix, colorectum, gallbladder, urinary bladder, skin, and esophagus. The antigen was absent in the other organs. Even in the organs showing positive findings, the antigen was observed only in the limited areas. In contrast, sialosyl-Tn antigen was expressed in a large number of adenocarcinomas in many kinds of organs. It was expressed in more than one half the adenocarcinomas of the pancreas, ovary, uterus, stomach, colorectum, and gallbladder, but not in hepatocellular carcinomas, renal cell carcinomas, and papillary carcinomas of the thyroid gland. Sialosyl-Tn antigen expression also was observed in intestinal metaplasia of the stomach and in transitional mucosa adjacent to the colorectal carcinoma, which are considered to be cancer-related lesions. These results indicate that sialosyl-Tn antigen is a useful tumor marker, especially in adenocarcinomas of the mucin-producing organs, and suggest that the regulation of sialosyl-Tn antigen synthesis in adenocarcinomas is different from that in normal tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Reference Values
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • sialosyl-Tn antigen