Relationship between CD44 expression and cell proliferation in epithelium and stroma of colorectal neoplasms

Koh Furuta, Marianna Zahurak, Xiao Ling Yang, Cecilia Rosada, Steven N. Goodman, J. Thomas August, Stanley R. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The cell surface glycoprotein CD44 is expressed primarily in the region of cell replication in the lower crypt epithelium of colorectal mucosa, and its expression is markedly increased in colorectal neoplasms, suggesting that expression is linked to proliferation. The association between CD44 expression and replication in individual cells was therefore analyzed by double-label immunohistochemistry for CD44 and the cell-cycle-dependent protein proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Enhanced expression of CD44 in colorectal neoplasms occurred not only in epithelial cells but also in stromal cells, including lymphocytes and macrophages. On a topographical basis, the cellular localization of CD44 and PCNA were commonly different. Quantitatively, in all cell types studied (epithelial cells and stroma of colorectal mucosa, adenomas, and carcinomas) PCNA was present most frequently in cells lacking CD44. Statistical analysis by logistic regression models indicated that cells negative for CD44 had a higher probability of being positive for PCNA than did cells positive for CD44 (P < 0.001). These data suggest that the enhanced level of CD44 in colorectal neoplasms is asynchronous with cell replication and reflects mechanisms that act on nonproliferative stromal lymphocytes and other mononuclear cells as well as the epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1147-1155
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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