Paracrine loops of keratinocyte stimulation in cholesteatoma tissue: An immunofluorescence, transmission electron microscopy, and molecular study

Federica D'Alessandro, Salvatore Raffa, Carmelo Murè, Daniela Kovacs, Maria Rosaria Torrisi, Maurizio Barbara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypothesis: In relation to the keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) expression in cholesteatoma tissue, the inflammatory infiltrate present in this disease could play a relevant role in the paracrine stimulation of keratinocytes. Background: Cholesteatoma is a temporal bone pathologic disease characterized by active proliferation of epithelial cells, with progressive growth and involvement of the neighboring middle/inner ear structures. The pathogenetic mechanism underlying the hyperproliferation of keratinocytes is not yet fully clarified. It has been suggested that keratinocyte proliferation and migration could be mediated by several autocrine and paracrine growth factors and their receptors. A previous study has reported that the expression of KGF receptor is increased in more differentiated areas of the cholesteatoma tissue, whereas the expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor is associated with proliferative and migratory areas of the lesion. Methods: Fresh cholesteatoma samples were collected during surgical procedures. Serial cryosections were examined by conventional hematoxylin and eosin or by immunofluorescence with antipancytokeratin antibodies. The ultrastructural features were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. The expression of KGF, K1, and filaggrin in the samples was evaluated by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and correlated with the dermal degree of inflammatory infiltrate and the presence of stromal cells. Results: Increased expression of KGF was associated with strong levels of the inflammatory infiltrate. Conclusion: These results would suggest that KGF up-modulation is a consequence of fibroblast stimulation by inflammatory cells and that this paracrine loop could be responsible not only for the hyperproliferation of keratinocytes in cholesteatoma tissue but also for the deregulation of epidermal differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1169
Number of pages7
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


  • Cholesteatoma
  • Immunofluorescence
  • Keratinocyte growth factor
  • Real-time polymerase chain Reaction
  • Transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Sensory Systems


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