Immunohistochemical localization of sex hormone-binding globulin in normal and neoplastic breast tissue

G. Sinnecker*, O. Hiort, P. W.L. Kwan, R. A. DeLellis

*Corresponding author for this work
41 Citations (Scopus)


The distribution of sex hormone-binding globulin-like antigens (SHBG-LA) in normal and neoplastic human breast tissues was investigated by immunohistochemistry, employing a monospecific polyclonal antiserum against highly purified human SHBG and an avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex (ABC) method in formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue sections. In normal breast tissues the staining of SHBG-LA was present exclusively in the cytoplasm of epithelial cells of ductal and ductular types. Nuclei as well as stromal and lymphatic tissues remained unstained. While the staining was positive in all cases of intraductal carcinoma, only 4 out of 15 infiltrating carcinomas revealed SHBG-LA. The demonstration of a plasma sex steroid binding globulin in the cytoplasm of endocrine target cells is consistent with the hypothesis that steroid-binding globulins are able to enter target cells. The apparent loss of this specific cell function in infiltrating carcinomas may result from dedifferentiation and change of cell membrane properties occurring during the process of neoplastic progression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHormone and Metabolic Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)47-50
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1990

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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