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Upregulation of tissue kallikrein, kinin B1 receptor, and kinin B2 receptor in mast and giant cells infiltrating oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma
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  1. Z Dlamini1,
  2. K D Bhoola2
  1. 1School of Anatomical Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Health Sciences, 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa
  2. 2Asthma and Allergy Institute, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Sir Charles Gaidner Hospital, University of Western Australia, Nedlands WA 6009, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Z Dlamini
 School of Anatomical Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Health Sciences, 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa; dlaminizanatomy.wits.ac.za

Abstract

Background: The mitogenic kinin peptides formed by the serine protease, tissue kallikrein (TK1), stimulate the proliferation of tumour cells and, by increasing vascular permeability, enhance metastasis. Oesophageal mucosal epithelial cells are derived from the epithelial cell germ layer, which expresses the kallikrein–kinin cascade.

Aim: To determine the cellular distribution of active TK1, prokallikrein, and the kinin B1 and B2 receptors in oesophageal carcinoma by immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridisation (ISH).

Methods: Fifty oesophageal specimens (33 biopsies and 17 resections) and 10 control specimens adjacent to tumour or normal oesophageal biopsies were studied. Specific antibodies were used to determine the cellular localisation of TK1, prokallikrein, and the kinin B1 and B2 receptors in normal and oesophageal specimens by standard immunohistochemical techniques. The intensity of immunolabelling was quantified by image analysis. Antisense probes for TK1 and the kinin B1 and B2 receptors were also used to localise mRNA.

Results: TK1 (active and prokallikrein) was expressed in the mucosa of normal and tumour oesophageal epithelium. In general, expression was highest in activated mast cells, followed by giant tumour cells. Immunolabelling results were confirmed by ISH experiments.

Conclusions: This is the first demonstration that TK1 and kinin B1 and B2 receptors are expressed in oesophageal carcinoma. Because TK1 released from tumour cells enzymatically generates mitogenic kinins from its endogenous substrate, kininogen, it is possible that third generation kinin receptor antagonists, which have been shown to be cytotoxic to cancer cells, may be useful therapeutic agents in this disease.

  • DAB, diaminobenzidine
  • DIG, digoxygenin
  • HUK, human urinary kallikrein
  • PBS, phosphate buffered saline
  • PCR, polymerase chain reaction
  • SSC, saline sodium citrate
  • TK, tissue kallikrein
  • rTK, recombinant tissue kallikrein
  • TProK, tissue prokallikrein
  • tissue kallikrein
  • kinin B1and B2 receptors
  • oesophageal carcinoma
  • tissue prokallikrein
  • mast cells
  • giant tumour cells
  • kinins
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