Localization of the α3β1 integrin in some common epithelial tumors of the ovary and in normal equivalents

A. Bartolazzi, J. Kaczmarek, G. Nicolo, A. M. Risso, G. Tarone, P. Rossino, P. Defilippi, P. Castellani

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Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against cultured human ovary carcinoma cells were produced. We obtained 7 mAbs which reacted diffusely with carcinoma of the ovary but only weakly with vessels and the surface epithelial layer of normal ovary. Biochemical characterization of these mAbs indicated that 3 out of 7 were specific for the α3 chain of the Vla-3 integrin, a receptor for fibronectin, collagen and laminin. Using one of these mAbs, we have studied, by immunohistochemical methods, the distribution of α3β1 integrin in mucinous, serous and endometrioid cystoadenocarcinoma of the ovary and in their normal equivalent: endocervical, tubal and endometrial epithelia. The results show that α3β1 is present in cell-cell contact areas and more abundantly at the junction between epithelial cells and basement membrane in endocervical, tubal epithelia, in epithelium lining the cavity of the uterus and in surface epithelium of the ovary. However, endometrial glands showed only weak and fragmented positivity at the basal pole of the cells. 26 out of 31 ovarian cancers studied, expressed the α3β1 integrin. However, basal localization, typical of normal epithelia, is not prominent or disappears in tumors and is replaced by a more diffuse reaction with variable immunohistochemical staining of the neoplastic cells. Furthermore, a comparative analysis of the expression of α3β1 and its ligands, laminin (LM), fibronectin (FN) and collagen IV (Coll IV), demonstrated that basal polarization of Vla-3 was always correlated with the presence of laminin and Coll IV, intrinsic components of the basement membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Extracellular matrix
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Integrins
  • Monoclonal antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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