Objective: Heparanase 2 (HPSE2) is expressed in various tissues, including the brain, intestine, prostate, breast, and endometrium. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of HPSE2 in cervical carcinogenesis, which has not been clarified to date.
Materials and Methods: The immunoexpression of HPSE2 in normal and neoplastic cervical squamous epithelia was determined using a semiquantitative (SQ) method and an index of expression (IE) method, using Image Lab Software. A total of 230 cervical tissue samples were analyzed and segregated into the following diagnostic groups: normal (27.4%), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 1 (CIN 1, 15.2%), CIN 2 (16.5%), CIN 3 (15.2%), and invasive neoplasia (25.7%). The mean HPSE2 expression in the normal group was significantly lower than that of the other groups individually or combined (p < .001, for all combinations). The immunoexpression via the SQ method was significantly greater in the CIN 3 group compared with that in the CIN 1 group (p = .02). The mean immunoexpression of the high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion groups was significantly greater than those of the normal and low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion groups (p < .001) and lower compared with that of the invasive neoplasia group (p < .001). There were no statistically significant differences in the immunoexpression of HPSE2 among the different clinical states within the invasive neoplasia group.
Conclusions: The SQ method produced a greater sensitivity and specificity than did the index of expression method. There was a progressive increase in the mean HPSE2 immunoexpression according to the severity of the cervical lesion from the low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion group to the invasive neoplasm group, whereas the normal group displayed the lowest level of expression. This is a novel study concerning HPSE2 in the cervix and cervical cancer carcinogenesis.