Correlation of very late activation integrin and CD44 expression with extrarenal invasion and metastasis of renal cell carcinomas

Michael Z. Gilcrease, Luan Truong, Richard W. Brown

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45 Scopus citations


Cell adhesion molecules mediate cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, and they are thought to play an important role in tumor invasion and metastasis. Altered expression of integrins and CD44 in renal cell carcinoma has been recently demonstrated, but an association with invasive or metastatic behavior has not been reported. We examined very late activation (VLA) integrin and CD44 expression in 37 renal cell carcinomas and correlated adhesion molecule expression with multiple histological and clinical parameters. Most tumors exhibited positive staining for VLA3 (81%). Approximately one third of the tumors stained positively for VLA6 and CD44, and fewer (27%) were positive for VLA2. Only a few tumors were positive for VLA4 (8%) and VLA5 (14%). Most of the tumors exhibiting positive staining showed a combination of membranous and cytoplasmic staining patterns. Low- grade tumors positive for VLA6 showed a tendency for basilar staining of the tumor cells, whereas high-grade tumors exhibited diffuse cytoplasmic staining. All tumors exhibiting weak or strong positive staining for VLA4 or VLA5 showed extrarenal invasion or were known to have developed metastases at the time of nephrectomy. All tumors strongly positive for VLA2 or CD44 showed invasion beyond the renal capsule or metastases. In contrast to a previous study, no association was observed between positive staining and tumor grade. Nor were tumor size, architectural pattern, cell type, or DNA ploidy found to be associated with particular staining patterns. Although many of die invasive tumors showed no difference in VLA integrin or CD44 expression compared with tumors confined to the kidney, increased expression in some of them suggests that these cell adhesion molecules may contribute to the invasive or metastatic phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1355-1360
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • CD44
  • cell adhesion molecule
  • immunohistochemistry
  • invasive
  • metastatic
  • renal cell carcinoma
  • VLA integrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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