Indexed on: 07 Jul '12Published on: 07 Jul '12Published in: PloS one
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a fatal tumor. It is often hard to discriminate MPM from metastatic tumors of other types because currently, there are no reliable immunopathological markers for MPM. MPM is differentially diagnosed by some immunohistochemical tests on pathology specimens. In the present study, we investigated the expression of intelectin-1, a new mesothelioma marker, in normal tissues in the whole body and in many cancers, including MPM, by immunohistochemical analysis. We found that in normal tissues, human intelectin-1 was mainly secreted from gastrointestinal goblet cells along with mucus into the intestinal lumen, and it was also expressed, to a lesser extent, in mesothelial cells and urinary epithelial cells. Eighty-eight percent of epithelioid-type MPMs expressed intelectin-1, whereas sarcomatoid-type MPMs, biphasic MPMs, and poorly differentiated MPMs were rarely positive for intelectin-1. Intelectin-1 was not expressed in other cancers, except in mucus-producing adenocarcinoma. These results suggest that intelectin-1 is a better marker for epithelioid-type MPM than other mesothelioma markers because of its specificity and the simplicity of pathological assessment. Pleural intelectin-1 could be a useful diagnostic marker for MPM with applications in histopathological identification of MPM.