HLA class I gene expression on human primary tumours and autologous metastases: demonstration of selective losses of HLA antigens on colorectal, gastric and laryngeal carcinomas

Br J Cancer. 1989 Feb;59(2):221-6. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1989.45.


The expression of HLA class I antigens was studied in 99 primary tumour (colorectal, gastric and laryngeal carcinomas) and 57 autologous metastases using immunohistological techniques and monoclonal antibodies against class I monomorphic determinants, HLA-B isotypic determinants and HLA polymorphic determinants. Fourteen per cent of colorectal, 9.6% of gastric and 20% of laryngeal carcinomas completely lacked class I molecules. Selective losses of HLA-B antigens were also detected in 8.8, 3.4 and 5.8% of these tumours respectively. Taking into account complete and selective loss of HLA-B the average alteration in the class I molecules expression totalled 21%. The comparison of class I expression between primary tumours and autologous metastases showed differences in 24% of the patients. These differences consisted mainly in a decrease of class I expression by metastases. Nevertheless, four types of divergence were detected in laryngeal carcinomas, namely: +/-, +/+, -/+, -/-. In addition, a clear correlation between degree of differentiation and class I expression was observed in laryngeal tumours. Finally, when class I gene RFLPs were compared with DNA from 15 tumours and autologous normal mucosa or peripheral lymphocytes, no differences were detected between these samples.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Southern
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Genes, MHC Class I
  • HLA Antigens / analysis*
  • HLA-B Antigens / analysis
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics
  • Stomach Neoplasms / immunology*


  • HLA Antigens
  • HLA-B Antigens