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BMC Proceedings

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P-cadherin expression in feline mammary tissues

  • A Catarina Figueira1, 2Email author,
  • Júlio Carvalheira3,
  • M Manuela Lacerda4 and
  • M Fátima Gärtner3, 5
BMC Proceedings20104(Suppl 2):P12

Published: 24 September 2010


Mammary GlandStatistical CorrelationMyoepithelial CellBreast CarcinogenesisMammary Carcinogenesis

Placental cadherin (P-cadherin) is a classical cadherin [1] expressed by myoepithelial cells of the human mammary gland [2, 3]. Changes to P-cadherin expression have been observed and implicated in human breast carcinogenesis [46]. Feline mammary tumours show similarities with the women tumours concerning many histological characteristics and clinical evolution, being proposed as good animal model to study mammary carcinogenesis [7].

To study P-cadherin expression in feline mammary gland an immunohistochemistry assay was performed in 61 samples of normal (n = 4), hyperplastic (n = 12), benign (n = 6) and malignant (n = 39) feline mammary tissues and the immunostaining assessment was based on the estimated percentage of luminal epithelial cells labeling (aberrant expression).

In normal mammary gland, mammary hyperplasia and benign tumours, P-cadherin immunolabelling was restricted to myoepithelial cells. Nevertheless, in malignant tumours there was an aberrant epithelial P-cadherin immunoexpression in 64,1% (n = 25) of the cases, with a membranar and/or cytoplasmic pattern of cellular distribution. Consequently, P-cadherin expression in feline mammary lesions was not exclusive of myoepithelial cells.

It was possible to observe a significant statistical correlation between P-cadherin expression intensity and feline mammary lesions (p = 0.0001). In malignant mammary tumors a statistical correlation between P-cadherin immunoexpression intensity and histological grade was observed (p = 0.0132). Aberrant epithelial P-cadherin expression seems to be correlated with tumor malignancy in feline mammary gland.

Authors’ Affiliations

Medical Faculty, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University School Vasco da Gama, Coimbra, Portugal
Institute of Biomedical Sciences of Abel Salazar (ICBAS), University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Portuguese Institute for Oncology at Coimbra (IPO de Coimbra, EPE), Coimbra, Portugal
Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP), Porto, Portugal


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© Figueira et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.