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Phenotypic change of muscularis mucosae in early invasive colorectal adenocarcinoma
  1. S Ban1,
  2. K Kamada1,
  3. N Mitsuki1,
  4. Y Goto1,
  5. Y Shimizu1,
  6. M Takahama1,
  7. T Shibata2
  1. 1Department of Pathology, Saitama Medical School, 38 Morohongo, Moroyama, Iruma, Saitama 350-0495, Japan
  2. 2Department of Pathology, Tsuchiura Kyodo General Hospital, Ibaraki 300-0053, Japan
  1. Dr Ban shinba{at}


Background—Invasive colorectal adenocarcinomas have bundles of eosinophilic spindle cells, which are regarded as myofibroblasts, in their desmoplastic stroma, some of which are continuous with the muscularis mucosa.

Aim—To investigate the relation between the eosinophilic spindle cells and the muscularis mucosa based on their cytoskeletal phenotypes in early invasive colorectal adenocarcinoma.

Methods—Formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded tissues of 17 early invasive colorectal adenocarcinomas were immunostained for α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), desmin, and vimentin.

Results—The phenotype of the muscularis mucosa was α-SMA positive, desmin positive, and vimentin weakly positive, whereas the eosinophilic spindle cells showed a decreased degree of immunoreactivity for α-SMA and desmin in particular, and an increased degree of immunoreactivity for vimentin. The degree of phenotypic difference between the muscularis mucosa and the eosinophilic spindle cells was greater in the eosinophilic spindle cells in the centre of the invasive area that were not continuous with the muscularis mucosa than in the eosinophilic spindle cells continuous with the muscularis mucosa.

Conclusions—These findings suggest that the smooth muscle cells of the muscularis mucosa change their phenotype to become eosinophilic spindle cells, namely myofibroblasts, in the early invasive area of colorectal adenocarcinoma.

  • colorectal adenocarcinoma
  • muscularis mucosa
  • myofibroblast
  • cytoskeletal phenotype

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