Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 1997; 21(1):22-28.

Class I Major Histocompatibility Complex Antigens and Tumor Ploidy in Breast and Bronchogenic Carcinomas

Maximino Hedondo, MD1, Angel Concha, MD2, Francisco Ruiz-Cabello, MD3, Miguel Morell, MD4, Francisco Esteban, MD4, Paloma Talavera, MD2, Federico Garrido, M. D.C3

1Area de Biotecnologia, Hospital Costa del Sol, Marbella, Malaga, Spain; 2Anatomia Patologica Hospital Virgen de las Nieves, Universidad de Granada, Spain: Servicios de 3Analisis Clinicos e Inmunologia; 4Departamento de Bioquimica y Biologia Molecular, Universidad de Malaga, Spain; 5Servicio de Otorrinolaringologia, Hospital Universitario "Virgen de Valme," Sevilla, Spain

Address all correspondence and reprint requests to: Maximino Redondo, MD, Area de Biotecnologia, Hospital Costa del Sol, Marbella 29600, Malaga, Spain

ABSTRACT: We determined the frequency of expression of the major histocompatibility complex antigens HLA-A,B,C, in tumor cells from 207 primary tumor lesions of breast and bronchogenic carcinomas, to see if the expression of theses antigens was linked with several clinicopathological parameters associated with tumor aggressivity, such as abnormal cellular DNA content. We compared tumor tissues with nonneoplastic tissues and tissues from 15 benign breast lesions. HLA class I expressor and nonexpressor tumor cells were determined by using immunohistochemical stains (PAP and APAAP methods) and antibodies against these antigens. Reduction of HLA class I antigen was detected in 65 tumors (31.7%) and was significantly associated with poor tumor differentiation and abnormal cellular DNA content (p < 0.001). These characteristics might define a group of aggressive tumors in which the decrease of HLA class I antigens would enable tumor cells to avoid eliciting host immune responses. On the other hand, the altered regulatory mechanisms, of tumors with abnormal cellular DNA content, might modulate the expression of HLA class I molecules.

KEY WORDS: histocompatibility, antigens, ploidy, tumors.