AIMS: To assess immunohistochemically whether the neural cell adhesion molecule L1, which is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily and has been shown recently to be a stimulating factor for glioma migration, is expressed in glioma tissues, and to investigate factors that can regulate this expression. METHODS: Twenty seven glioma tissue specimens including 13 glioblastomas, seven anaplastic astrocytomas, and seven astrocytomas were examined. Immunohistochemical analyses of L1, p53, and transforming growth cell factor beta (TGF-beta) were performed on each tumour using both polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. RESULTS: Nine (33%) specimens (six glioblastomas and three anaplastic astrocytomas) had L1 positive immunostaining. p53 positive staining was detected in 10 (43%) of 23 glioma specimens (seven glioblastomas and three anaplastic astrocytomas). TGF-beta positive immunostaining was observed in 12 (52%) of the 23 glioma specimens (six glioblastomas, four anaplastic astrocytomas, and two astrocytomas). There was a statistical correlation between both p53 and L1 expression and TGF-beta and L1 expression. No such correlation was found between p53 and TGF-beta expression. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that mutation of the p53 gene or expression of TGF-beta may upregulate the expression of the L1 gene, thus resulting in high grade migration of glioma cells.
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