Ectopic expression of follicle-stimulating hormone receptors in thyroid tumors
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Submission date: 2013-07-01
Final revision date: 2013-12-30
Acceptance date: 2013-12-30
Online publication date: 2015-12-11
Publication date: 2015-12-17
Arch Med Sci 2015;11(6):1314–1317
Introduction: In normal conditions follicle-stimulating hormone receptors (FSHR) are expressed in the ovary and the testis. They can also be expressed in gonadal tumors. However, recently we have found FSHR immunostaining in pituitary adenomas, adrenal tumors and neuroendocrine tumors (carcinoids). The aim of this study was to determine whether the same occurs in thyroid tumors.
Material and methods: Thirty-six samples of surgically excised thyroids were examined. Follicle-stimulating hormone receptors immunostaining was performed on paraffin sections using the rabbit anti-human FSHR polyclonal antibody raised against a 1-190 amino acid sequence from the human FSHR (sc-13935, Santa Cruz).
Results: Normal thyroid follicles do not show immunopositivity for FSHR. The same concerns the majority of benign lesions, diagnosed as hyperplasia nodularis or thyroid adenomas. However, positive FSHR immunostaining in some follicles was observed. In all but one thyroid cancer (15 papillary, 10 follicular cancers and one case of anaplastic thyroid cancer) 10–100% of tumor cells exhibit positive FSHR immunostaining. In about 40% of samples FSHR immunoreactivity can be observed also in the endothelia of intrathyroidal blood vessels. This immunopositivity was more frequent in the samples of thyroid cancers (13/27) than in benign lesions (2/9).
Conclusions: Ectopic positive FSHR immunostaining is also present in thyroid cancers, and, to a lesser degree, in benign lesions but not in the normal thyroid epithelium.