BRAFV600E mutation, usually performed by DNA techniques, is one of the most common diagnostic markers in papillary thyroid carcinoma. Few papers have demonstrated that plump cells (eosinophilic cytoplasms and papillary thyroid carcinoma nuclei) and peculiar sickle-shaped nuclei represent morphological features of BRAFV600E on papillary thyroid carcinomas. These features seem to be linked to glycolytic phenotype whereby monocarboxylate transporters 1–4 are hypothesized to have a dominant role as lactate transporters. We investigated the association between these morphological features and monocarboxylate transporters 1 and 4 in 48 cyto-histological samples diagnosed as “positive for malignancy-favoring papillary thyroid carcinoma”. These cases were processed with liquid-based cytology and underwent BRAFV600E mutational analysis (pyrosequencing) on liquid-based cytology and monocarboxylate transporters immunostaining on histology. The expression of monocarboxylate transporter 1, monocarboxylate transporter 4, glucose trasporter-1 and carbonic anhidrase were scored semi-quantitatively with expression from 0 to 3+ (strong positivity). The 33 mutated and 15 wild type cases showed 100 % cyto-histological concordance. The cytological evaluation revealed plump cells and sickle nuclear shape in 100 % mutated cases. Monocarboxylate transporter 1 yielded 76 % positivity in the mutated cases especially in both the plump cells and sickle-shaped nuclei, whereas the wild types showed 13.3 % positive monocarboxylate transporter 1 (p = 0.00013). Monocarboxylate transporter 4 resulted in 100 % positivity in mutated and 40 % in wild types (p < 0.005). Furthermore, 20 % of the wild types showed weak monocarboxylate transporter 1 nuclear expression associated to a less aggressive behavior. The analysis of glucose trasporter-1 and carbonic anhidrase did not highlight any statistical significance (p > 0.05). This is the first report analyzing the association between monocarboxylate transporter expression and the morphological features of BRAFV600E mutated papillary thyroid carcinomas suggesting the possible involvement of lactate in the morphological features.
- BRAFV600E mutation
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Liquid-based cytology
- Plump cells
- Thyroid lesions