Differential Expression of Stem Cell Markers in Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia

Citation: Mishra DK, Veena U, Kaliki S, Kethiri AR, Sangwan VS, Ali MH, et al. (2016) Differential Expression of Stem Cell Markers in Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia. PLoS ONE 11(9): e0161800. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161800
Published: September 1, 2016

Abstract
Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasm (OSSN) is the neoplasia arising from the conjunctiva, cornea and limbus. OSSN ranges from mild, moderate, severe dysplasia, carcinoma in situ (CIS) to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Recent findings on cancer stem cells theory indicate that population of stem-like cell as in neoplasia determines its heterogeneity and complexity leading to varying tumor development of metastatic behavior and recurrence. Cancer stem cell markers are not much explored in the cases of OSSN. In the present study, we aim to evaluate the expression of stem cells using stem cell markers mainly p63, ABCG2, c-KIT (CD117) and CD44 in OSSN tissue, which could have prognostic significance. The present study tries for the first time to explore expression of these stem markers in the cases of OSSN. These cases are subdivided into two groups. One group comprises of carcinoma in situ (n = 6) and the second group comprises of invasive carcinoma (n = 6). The mean age at presentation was 52 years; with 53 years for CIS group and 52 years for SCC group. From each group section from the paraffin block were taken for the IHC staining of p63, c-Kit, ABCG2 and CD44. Our experiments show high expression of P63 and CD44 in the cases of CIN and SCC. Both CIS and SCC displayed positive staining with p63, with more than 80% cells staining positive. However minimal expression of c-kit in both CIN and SCC. But surprisingly we got high expression of ABCG2 in cases of carcinoma in situ as compared to that of invasive squamous cell carcinoma. More than 50% of cells showed CD44 positivity in both CIS and SCC groups. Our results show for the first time that these four stem cells especially the limbal epithelium stem cells play a vital role in the genesis of OSSN but we need to explore more cases before establishing its clinical and biological significance.

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