Immunohistochemical evidence of immune responses to tumor-associated antigens in lymph nodes of colon carcinoma patients

R. Mariani-Costantini, R. Muraro, F. Ficari, C. Valli, R. Bei, F. Tonelli, F. Caramia, L. Frati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors investigated by immunohistochemical study the drainage of three tumor-associated antigens in unaffected regional lymph nodes of colon cancer patients. The study was conducted using monoclonal antibodies (MoAb) directed against different epitopes of the tumor-associated glycoprotein, TAG-72 (CC-49, CC-83, B72.3), of the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) (COL-4, COL-12), and of the colon-associated antigen, CAA (anti-CAA). The authors detected immunohistochemical reactions of MoAb CC-49 and anti-CAA with antigen-presenting cells (APC), such as peritumoral and sinus macrophages and lymphatic endothelial cells and with specific areas of germinal centers in lymph nodes draining 11 of 24 colorectal carcinomas studied. The corresponding primary tumors expressed the TAG-72 and CAA antigens. No immunostaining was detectable in lymph nodes using the anti-CEA MoAb, even when the primary tumors strongly expressed the specific epitopes. In germinal centers of regional lymph nodes, the immunostaining was often distributed at the periphery with a characteristic crescentic or circular pattern, which strongly suggested the exposure of the specific epitopes defined by MoAb CC-49 and anti-CAA on follicular dendritic cells. This would indicate that these epitopes are selectively recognized and presented to germinal center B-cells. This phenomenon may have clinical and diagnostic implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2880-2886
Number of pages7
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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