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Interleukin-33 expression indicates a favorable prognosis in malignant salivary gland tumors

Roessle, Matthias, Cathomas, Gieri, Bonapace, Laura, Sachs, Melanie, Dehler, Silvia, Storz, Martina, Huber, Gerhard, Moch, Holger, Junt, Tobias and Mertz, Kirsten D. (2016) Interleukin-33 expression indicates a favorable prognosis in malignant salivary gland tumors. Int J Surg Pathol.


The cytokine Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is abundantly expressed in epithelial barrier tissues. It is released after cell damage and supports the induction of immune responses. Here we characterized IL-33 protein expression by immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays of benign (n = 65) and malignant (n = 153) salivary gland tumors and normal salivary gland tissues (n = 28) and associated it with disease outcome. We found nuclear IL-33 expression in normal salivary gland tissues, mainly in ductal myoepithelial cells. Most benign salivary gland tumors expressed IL-33, and all Warthin’s tumors showed strong and consistent IL-33 expression in the basally oriented cells of their bilayered epithelium. In the malignant group of neoplasms, however, nuclear IL-33 expression was limited to specific tumor entities, e.g. to epithelial-myopepithelial carcinomas (n = 9/11), acinic cell carcinomas (n = 13/27), oncocytic carcinomas (n = 2/2), and one cystadenocarcinoma. IL-33 expression in the combined group of malignant salivary gland neoplasms was significantly associated with favorable histologic parameters, lack of metastasis and longer overall survival, compared to IL-33 negative tumors. We conclude that IL-33 expression is a novel prognostic marker for malignant salivary gland tumors with potential use in clinical diagnostics.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2016 23:45
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2016 23:45


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