Divergent expression of MUC5AC, MUC6, MUC2, CD10, and CDX-2 in dysplasia and intramucosal adenocarcinomas with intestinal and foveolar morphology: is this evidence of distinct gastric and intestinal pathways to carcinogenesis in Barrett Esophagus?Am J Surg Pathol. 2012 Mar; 36(3):331-42.AJ
Dysplasia in Barrett esophagus has been recognized to be morphologically heterogenous, featuring adenomatous, foveolar, and hybrid phenotypes. Recent studies have suggested a tumor suppressor role for CDX-2 in the metaplasia-dysplasia-carcinoma sequence. The phenotypic stability and role of CDX-2 in the neoplastic progression of different types of dysplasias have not been evaluated. Thirty-eight endoscopic mucosal resections with dysplasia and/or intramucosal carcinoma (IMC) arising in Barrett esophagus were evaluated for the expression of MUC5AC, MUC6, MUC2, CD10, and CDX-2. The background mucosa was also evaluated. The results were correlated with morphologic classification and clinicopathologic parameters. Of 38 endoscopic mucosal resections, 23 had IMC and dysplasia, 8 had IMC only, and 7 had dysplasia only. Among dysplastic lesions, 73% were foveolar, 17% were adenomatous, and 10% were hybrid. Twenty of 23 cases with dysplasia and adjacent IMC showed an identical immunophenotype of dysplasia and IMC comprising 16 gastric, 3 intestinal, and 1 mixed immunophenotype. Three cases showed discordance of dysplasia and IMC immunophenotype. These findings suggest that most Barrett-related IMC cases are either gastric or intestinal, with phenotypic stability during progression supporting separate gastric and intestinal pathways of carcinogenesis. CDX-2 showed gradual downregulation of expression during progression in adenomatous dysplasia but not in foveolar or hybrid dysplasia, supporting a tumor suppressor role, at least in the intestinal pathway. CDX-2 was also found to be expressed to a greater degree in intestinal metaplasia compared with nonintestinalized columnar metaplasia. Consistent with CDX-2 as a tumor suppressor, this suggests that nonintestinalized columnar metaplasia may be an unstable intermediate state at risk for neoplastic progression.