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Expression Pattern of the CCAAT/Enhancer-Binding Protein C/EBP-β in Gestational Trophoblastic Disease

Radde, Jessica; Löning, Thomas; Bamberger, Ana-Maria

International Journal of Gynecological Pathology: October 2004 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 373-377
doi: 10.1097/01.pgp.0000139645.32997.e1
Original Contributions

The CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) family consists of several factors that are important regulators of intracellular processes and hormone action. C/EBP-β, the most important member of the C/EBP family, was shown recently to be expressed in the normal human placenta where it is localized in villous syncytiotrophoblast and in the extravillous (intermediate) trophoblast but not the villous cytotrophoblast. The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression pattern of C/EBP-β in gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) which has not been studied so far. We used immunohistochemistry on a total of 15 cases of GTD including nine complete hydatidiform moles, one placental site nodule (PSN), one placental site trophoblastic tumor (PSTT), and four choriocarcinomas. All our tested specimens showed positivity for C/EBP-β. The strongest C/EBP-β expression could be observed in villous syncytiotrophoblast and in the trophoblast proliferations on the villous surface of hydatidiform moles; villous cytotrophoblast was negative. The PSN also showed positive nuclear staining but the expression was not as strong as it was in the hydatidiform moles and the total amount of stained cells was the lowest of all GTD. The PSTT also showed immunoreactivity but with a weaker and more heterogeneous staining than in the choriocarcinomas. The specific expression pattern of C/EBP-β in GTD indicate that C/EBP-β could potentially be an additional marker of such lesions.

From the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Dept. of Gynecopathology, Institute of Pathology, Martinistr. 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jessica Radde, Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Eppendorf Martinistr. 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany. E-mail:

©2004International Society of Gynecological Pathologists