Localization of hyaluronan in normal breast tissue, radial scar, and tubular breast carcinoma

Hum Pathol. 1993 Dec;24(12):1294-7. doi: 10.1016/0046-8177(93)90262-f.


Hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid [HYA]) is one of the extracellular matrix components involved in normal cell physiology and is localized mainly in bodily fluids and connective tissues. Increased amounts of HYA in serum have been demonstrated in a number of neoplastic and inflammatory conditions, among them breast cancer. Tubular breast carcinoma (TC) and radial scar (RS) are two breast lesions that microscopically display characteristic stromal alterations and possess gross and microscopic similarities. Due to the importance of HYA as a component of the extracellular matrix, we investigated its presence in these lesions and in normal breast tissue. Using a biotinylated HYA-binding region for the in situ detection of HYA, we noted an increased amount of HYA in both TC and RS as compared with that in normal breast tissue specimens. A strong reactivity was observed predominantly around glandular structures and in the interlobular stroma of both TC and RS. Perivascular HYA staining also was distinctly observed in these lesions (TC and RS). Some HYA was observed in the connective tissue of the intralobular regions, around small blood vessels, and in the perivascular connective tissue of the normal breast. The distribution of HYA adjacent to the epithelium in the normal breast suggests a role for HYA in the interaction between epithelium and stroma of the normal breast. Its increase in the connective tissue of both TC and RS reflects the derangement of the stroma commonly observed in these conditions and supports the notion that these lesions may be associated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / chemistry*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast / chemistry*
  • Breast / cytology
  • Breast / pathology
  • Breast Diseases / metabolism*
  • Breast Diseases / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / analysis*
  • Middle Aged


  • Hyaluronic Acid