Expression of E-selectin on endothelial cells of small veins in human colorectal cancer

Int J Cancer. 1995 May 16;61(4):455-60. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910610404.


E-selectin is an adhesion molecule of endothelial cells that binds to cancer cells mediated by sialyl Lewis A (sLea) or sialyl Lewis X (sLe(x)). It is suspected to be involved in hematogenous metastasis of tumors. Therefore, it is worth examining E-selectin expression in human colorectal cancer and its hepatic metastasis. In the present study, E-selectin was clearly revealed on the endothelial cells of small vessels adjacent to cancer nests both in primary and in metastatic nests in immunohistochemistry. In these tissues, E-selectin was observed on the endothelial cells lining the lumen of small vessels. Its expression adjacent to cancer nests appears to be induced through some stimuli by cancer cells, since its degree of expression is inversely correlated to the distance of the blood vessels from the cancer nests (p < 0.001). Endothelial cells adjacent to the metastatic lesion expressed E-selectin more extensively than those adjacent to the primary foci. This is also in line with the finding on serum E-selectin levels which were significantly elevated in the metastatic group as compared with the non-metastatic group. The serum E-selectin level may provide useful information in the diagnosis for hepatic metastasis of colorectal cancer, although the results are still tentative.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • CA-19-9 Antigen
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / blood
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • E-Selectin
  • Endothelium, Vascular / chemistry
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gangliosides / analysis
  • Gangliosides / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligosaccharides / analysis
  • Rectum / metabolism
  • Sialyl Lewis X Antigen


  • CA-19-9 Antigen
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • E-Selectin
  • Gangliosides
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Sialyl Lewis X Antigen
  • sialyl Le(a) ganglioside