Membranous expression of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in the normal cervical squamous mucosa

J Pathol. 1992 May;167(1):77-82. doi: 10.1002/path.1711670113.


Using a panel of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies to CEA-related antigens in paraffin-processed cervical biopsies, CEA and NCA expression has been demonstrated on the cell membrane of normal mature cervical squames. Cytofluorimetry of disaggregated cervical squames confirmed membranous expression and immunogold labelling of ultrathin cryostat sections localized CEA to the glycocalyx and to within cytoplasmic membrane-bound vesicles of mature squames. Immunoblotting of cervical tissue showed that most of the CEA reactivity was expressed as a glycoprotein of molecular weight around 180 k, probably CEA itself. Localization of the CEA to the cell membrane of mature cervical squames suggests a key role for these antigens in maintaining the integrity of the squamous mucosa, through the putative function of an adhesion molecule.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / analysis
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / immunology*
  • Cell Membrane / immunology
  • Cervix Uteri / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Mucous Membrane / immunology


  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen