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This article is part of the supplement: Abstracts of the 16th International Charles Heidelberger Symposium on Cancer Research

Open Access Poster presentation

P-cadherin expression in feline mammary tissues

A Catarina Figueira12*, Júlio Carvalheira3, M Manuela Lacerda4 and M Fátima Gärtner35

Author Affiliations

1 Medical Faculty, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

2 Department of Veterinary Medicine, University School Vasco da Gama, Coimbra, Portugal

3 Institute of Biomedical Sciences of Abel Salazar (ICBAS), University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

4 Portuguese Institute for Oncology at Coimbra (IPO de Coimbra, EPE), Coimbra, Portugal

5 Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP), Porto, Portugal

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BMC Proceedings 2010, 4(Suppl 2):P12  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-4-S2-P12

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:24 September 2010

© 2010 Figueira et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Poster presentation

Placental cadherin (P-cadherin) is a classical cadherin [1] expressed by myoepithelial cells of the human mammary gland [2,3]. Changes to P-cadherin expression have been observed and implicated in human breast carcinogenesis [4-6]. Feline mammary tumours show similarities with the women tumours concerning many histological characteristics and clinical evolution, being proposed as good animal model to study mammary carcinogenesis [7].

To study P-cadherin expression in feline mammary gland an immunohistochemistry assay was performed in 61 samples of normal (n = 4), hyperplastic (n = 12), benign (n = 6) and malignant (n = 39) feline mammary tissues and the immunostaining assessment was based on the estimated percentage of luminal epithelial cells labeling (aberrant expression).

In normal mammary gland, mammary hyperplasia and benign tumours, P-cadherin immunolabelling was restricted to myoepithelial cells. Nevertheless, in malignant tumours there was an aberrant epithelial P-cadherin immunoexpression in 64,1% (n = 25) of the cases, with a membranar and/or cytoplasmic pattern of cellular distribution. Consequently, P-cadherin expression in feline mammary lesions was not exclusive of myoepithelial cells.

It was possible to observe a significant statistical correlation between P-cadherin expression intensity and feline mammary lesions (p = 0.0001). In malignant mammary tumors a statistical correlation between P-cadherin immunoexpression intensity and histological grade was observed (p = 0.0132). Aberrant epithelial P-cadherin expression seems to be correlated with tumor malignancy in feline mammary gland.


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