Expression of three cell adhesion molecules in bladder carcinomas: correlation with pathological features

Anal Cell Pathol. 1997 May;13(3):125-36. doi: 10.1155/1997/246136.


Recently, independent studies have shown that the expression of two integrin chains, beta 4 and alpha 2, plus the epithelial cadherin are related to tumour progression in human bladder carcinomas. For the first time, we compare the expression of these three cell adhesion molecules using immunohistochemical analysis of consecutive cryosections from a series of 50 bladder tumors. E-cadherin, beta 4, and alpha 2 were strongly expressed in normal urothelium. A majority of non-invasive bladder cancers stained positively for E-cadherin (62%), whereas only 29% expressed normal positivity for alpha 2, and only 35% for beta 4. However, most invasive tumours presented an aberrant expression of alpha 2 (81%), beta 4 (100%), and E-cadherin (75%). We studied the correlation of immunoreactivity with histological grade and stage. The alpha 2 pattern was not correlated with stage and grade. In contrast, loss of normal beta 4 expression was significantly related to increasing tumour grade and deep invasion with a higher correlation for grade. Finally, E-cadherin expression was highly correlated with stage, but not with grade. Thus our results indicate that, although many invasive bladder tumours presented a disorder in expression of the two integrins alpha 2 and beta 4, E-cadherin appeared to be a better market of invasiveness in bladder carcinomas.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Integrin alpha2
  • Integrin beta4
  • Integrins / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Urothelium / metabolism


  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cadherins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Integrin alpha2
  • Integrin beta4
  • Integrins