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Alexandre P. Moulin, Manuel Deprez, Karin U. Loeffler, Leonidas Zografos, Agnese Mariotti; Mfge8 Expression In Conjunctival Melanocytic Proliferations. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):4531.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Milk fat globule epidermal growth factor-8 (MFGE8) is a secreted phosphatidylserine-binding protein that has been involved in phagocytosis, as well as in VEGF dependent neovascularization. In a study evaluating protein expression in membrane rafts of cutaneous melanoma at different stages of progression, MFGE8 expression was only identified in membrane rafts of metastatic cutaneous melanoma cell lines. Furthermore, MFGE8, identified at higher level in the vertical growth phase of cutaneous melanoma, promoted tumor growth in vivo, enhanced invasion in vitro and metastatic spread in a mouse model. The purpose of this study was to assess the expression of MFGE8 in conjunctival melanocytic proliferations.
MFGE8 expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry in 66 melanocytic conjunctival proliferations including 21 conjunctival naevi, 20 Primary Acquired Melanosis (PAM) including (4 PAM without atypia and 16 PAM with atypia) and 25 conjunctival melanomas. Expression was independently assessed by 2 pathologists. Relevant clinico-pathological data were retrieved. Statistical anaylis was performed using JUMP 8 software.
The concordance between the 2 pathologists had an 87,5% agreement on the first independent assessment of MFGE8 expression. Complete agreement was further reached after joint revision of discordant cases. In the naevi, MFGE8 expression was found in only 4 cases (3 subepithelial cases and 1 composed combined naevus). In the PAM group, MFGE8 was identified in 1 PAM without atypia and 10 PAM with atypia. In the melanoma group, MFGE8 expression was observed in 68% of cases. The expression of MFGE8 in the conjunctival melanocytic proliferation was significantly higher in the melanoma (p=0,0009) and in the PAM (p=0,0169) than in naevi. Within the PAM subgroup, we found no significant correlation between MFGE8 expression and the presence of atypia in the respective specimen examined so far.
We demonstrate a significant higher expression of MFGE8 in conjunctival melanoma compared to benign melanocytic lesions, suggesting that this protein may play a role in tumor progression of conjunctival melanocytic proliferations. Further experimental studies should be performed to better characterize MFGE8 involvement in conjunctival melanoma tumorigenesis.
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