Kim H.-S., Kim J.-S., Park J.-T., Lee M.-C., Juhng S.-W., Cho J.-H., Park C.-S.

Aim: To characterize the roles of LMP-1 and CD99 in nasopharyngeal carcinogenesis, we undertook this pilot study of LMP-1 and CD99 expressions in nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC). Materials and Method: 40 NPC tissue samples were grouped according to the WHO classification. Immunohistochemical studies were performed using monoclonal antibodies against EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP-1) and CD99 protein. In addition, CD99 expression was evaluated in 10 samples of non-neoplastic nasopharyngeal epithelium. Results: LMP-1 was detected in 12 of the 40 (30.0%) cases and its expression was found to be confined to epithelial tumor cells. WHO type I NPC samples were completely negative for LMP-1, whereas WHO type III NPC samples showed highest expression. Interestingly, CD99 was expressed in all of the non-neoplastic nasopharyngeal epithelium samples along the cytoplasmic border. CD99 expression was noted in NPC tumor cells (5 of the 40 cases, 12.5%) and in surrounding lymphoid stroma (23 of the 40 cases, 57.5%), but was not expressed in WHO type I NPC. In the 12 LMP-1 positive cases, 9 cases (75.0%) were CD99 negative, and 3 cases (25.5%) were CD99 positive. There was a statistical significance between LMP-1 and CD99 expression in lymphoid stroma. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the LMP-1 induced down-regulation of the CD99 pathway is important in nasopharyngeal carcinogenesis, and that the expression of CD99 in lymphoid stroma may regulate immune response to NPC.

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