Aims: Neural (N)-cadherin belongs to a group of transmembrane molecules with a crucial role in tissue morphogenesis and maintenance of an epithelioid phenotype and increased N-cadherin expression is implicated in tumour progression and dedifferentiation. The aim was to determine whether evaluation of N-cadherin in pulmonary tumours might assist in identifying lesions with more aggressive potential. Methods and results: One hundred and fifty-five pulmonary lesions were analysed for N-cadherin expression using immunohistochemistry, including neuroendocrine hyperplasia (n = 3), typical carcinoid (n = 59), atypical carcinoid (n = 12), small cell lung carcinoma (n = 11), large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (n = 12), adenocarcinoma (n = 35) and squamous cell carcinoma (n = 23). Lymph node status was correlated with immunohistochemical expression. N-cadherin expression was demonstrated in all cases of neuroendocrine hyperplasia, 96% of typical carcinoids, 83% of atypical carcinoids, 63% of the small cell lung carcinomas and 32% of large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas. Over 90% of the adenocarcinomas and 100% of the squamous cell carcinomas were negative. Increased N-cadherin expression in typical carcinoids was associated with negative lymph node status (P < 0.001). Discussion: N-cadherin is differentially expressed in pulmonary tumours and is predominantly observed in neuroendocrine lung lesions with high expression in typical and atypical pulmonary carcinoids. The level of expression of N-cadherin between types of lung tumours does not appear to indicate malignant potential or aggressive behaviour.
- Atypical carcinoid
- Typical carcinoid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine