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Inverse Expression of Cystein-rich 61 (Cyr61/CCN1) and Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF/CCN2) in Borderline Tumors and Carcinomas of the Ovary

Bartel, Frank Ph.D.; Balschun, Katharina M.D.; Gradhand, Elise M.D.; Strauss, Hans G. M.D.; Dittmer, Jürgen Ph.D.; Hauptmann, Steffen M.D.

International Journal of Gynecological Pathology: September 2012 - Volume 31 - Issue 5 - p 405–415
doi: 10.1097/PGP.0b013e31824d1891
Pathology of the Upper Genital Tract: Original Articles

Members of the CCN [cystein-rich 61 (Cyr61)/connective tissue growth factor (CTGF)/nephroblastoma (NOV)] protein family are involved in the regulation of cellular proliferation, apoptosis, and migration and are also assumed to play a role in carcinogenesis. Therefore, we performed a retrospective study to investigate the immunohistochemical expression of both Cyr61 and CTGF in 92 borderline tumors (BOTs) and 107 invasive carcinomas of the ovary (IOCs). To determine their diagnostic and prognostic value, we correlated protein expression with clinicopathologic factors including overall and disease-free survival. Cyr61 and CTGF were found to be inversely expressed in both BOTs and IOCs, with a stronger expression of Cyr61 in IOCs. Moreover, Cyr61 was found to be preferentially expressed in high-grade serous carcinomas, whereas CTGF was found more frequently in low-grade serous carcinomas. Weak Cyr61 levels correlated with both low estrogen receptor and p53 expression (P=0.038, P=0.04, respectively). However, no association was observed between CTGF, estrogen receptor, and p53 expression levels in IOCs. Regarding prognosis, Cyr61 was found to be of no value, but the loss of CTGF was found to be associated with a poor prognosis in multivariate analysis of overall (relative risk 2.8; P=0.050) and disease-free (relative risk 2.3; P=0.031) survival. Cyr61 and CTGF are inversely expressed in BOTs and IOCs, and loss of CTGF independently indicates poor prognosis in IOCs.

Institute of Pathology (F.B., E.G., S.H.)

Department of Gynecology (H.G.S., J.D.), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale)

Institute of Pathology (K.B.), University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany

F.B. and K.B. have contributed equally to the results of this study.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Steffen Hauptmann, MD, Institute of Pathology, Hospital of Dueren, Roonstr. 30, D-52309 Dueren, Germany. E-mail:

©2012International Society of Gynecological Pathologists