Differential expression of the 67 kilodalton laminin receptor in epithelioid malignant mesothelioma and carcinomas that spread to serosal cavities

Diagnostic Cytopathology. Volume 33, Issue 5 , Pages 332 – 337. Published Online: 20 Oct 2005. [Link]

Reuven Reich, Ph.D. 1 2, Lina Vintman, M.Sc. 1, Søren Nielsen, C.T. 3, Janne Kærn, M.D., Ph.D. 4, Carlos Bedrossian, M.D., F.I.A.C. 5, Aasmund Berner, M.D., Ph.D. 6, Ben Davidson, M.D., Ph.D. 6 *

  1. 1Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
  2. 2The David R. Bloom Center for Pharmacy, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Aalborg Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  4. 4Department of Gynecologic Oncology, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, University of Oslo, Norway
  5. 5Department of Pathology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Chicago, Illinois
  6. 6Department of Pathology, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, University of Oslo, Norway

email: Ben Davidson (bend@ulrik.uio.no)


Expression of the 67-kd laminin receptor (67-kd LR) has been reported in a wide range of carcinomas, in many of which it correlated with poor differentiation, metastasis, disease progression, and poor survival. Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a locally aggressive and highly lethal tumor of serosal cavities that is rarely associated with clinically detectable metastasis to distant organs. The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of the 67-kd LR in epithelioid MM and carcinomas in effusions. Effusions from patients diagnosed with ovarian (=24) and breast (=38) adenocarcinomas and MM (=24) (total = 86) were analyzed for 67-kd LR protein expression, using immunocytochemistry. The 67-kd LR mRNA expression was additionally analyzed in 21 MM effusions using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Protein expression of the 67-kd LR was frequently detected in carcinomas (19/24 ovarian tumors, 79%; 15/38 breast tumors, 39%), but was rare in MM (2/24 cases, 8%), despite the presence of mRNA transcripts for the receptor in all 21 specimens studied using RT-PCR. Nine benign effusions that were additionally studied for protein expression were uniformly negative, as were all reactive mesothelial cells in malignant effusions. Our results suggest that the 67-kd LR may aid in the differential diagnosis between metastatic carcinoma, mainly of ovarian origin, and MM. They additionally suggest that the failure of MM to express the 67-kd LR protein, as opposed to the frequent expression in carcinomas with proven metastatic capacity, may be one of the factors contributing to the reduced ability of the former tumor to metastasize to distant organs.