Distribution of Langerhans cells and HLA class II molecules in prostatic carcinomas of different histopathological grade

Giulio Bigotti, Antonella Coli, D Castagnola

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47 Citazioni (Scopus)


We have investigated Langerhans cell (LC) distribution in 38 prostatic carcinomas, of various degrees of differentiation, by immunohistochemistry with a polyclonal anti-S-100 serum, furthermore evaluating the expression of HLA class II-DR by neoplastic cells using a monoclonal antibody (MoAb) that reacts with a monomorphic determinant in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue. Antiserum to S-100 protein identified LCs mostly in carcinomas ranging from grade 1 to grade 2, while LCs were inconspicuous in grade 4 and virtually absent in grade 5 cancers. Moreover, sections stained with the anti -HLA-DR MoAb displayed an immunoreactivity, both cytoplasmic and apical, especially confined to neoplastic glands of low grade (1-2) carcinomas. Although we did not find a direct correlation between the two parameters under investigation and lymphoid infiltrate, we were able to document an increased number of HLA class II-positive interstitial cells in low-grade carcinomas, corresponding mostly to macrophages. Our results indicate that LC number is inversely correlated to the histopathological grade and directly to the expression of HLA class II-DR molecules by tumor cells; we believe that this might be important in understanding the more favorable biological behavior of low-grade prostate carcinomas as opposed to the higher grades, since LCs and HLA class II molecules may provide a means of eliciting the immune response, both LCs and epithelial cells expressing HLA class II molecules being capable of direct antigen presentation to immune cells. In this context macrophages might play a primary role in controlling tumor progression. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time that an attempt is made to correlate LCs and HLA class II expression to histopathological grading of prostatic carcinomas. We would also suggest that the presence of LCs and HLA class II molecules, either singly or in combination, in carcinoma of the prostate represents a good prognostic indicator, being constantly associated with the clinically less aggressive low-grade tumors. The evaluation of these two parameters might prove useful in the assessment of intermediate grades where no valid histologic criteria have been found to predict the clinical course of the disease.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)73-87
Numero di pagine15
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 1991


  • Histopathology, prostatic neoplasia, major histocompatibility complex, dendritic cells


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