Vascular-Associated Muc4/Vwf Co-Localization in Human Conjunctival Malignant Melanoma Specimens—Tumor Metastasis by Migration?

Vinodh Kakkassery*, Sibylle Winterhalter, Ann Christin Nick, Stephanie C. Joachim, Antonia M. Joussen, Norbert Kociok

*Corresponding author for this work


Purpose: To investigate whether vascular differentiation marker von Willebrand factor (vWf) and proliferation marker KI67 expression correlate with MUC4 localization around stromal tumor vascularization in human conjunctival malignant melanoma (CMM). Materials and methods: For the purposes of this study, we analyzed samples from human CMMs (n = 4), conjunctival compound nevi (n = 7), and samples from healthy conjunctiva (n = 7) for MUC1, 4, and 16 by immunohistochemistry. To test CMM vessel association of MUC4, we investigated the co-localization of MUC4 with vWf or KI67 in human CMM specimens (n = 10) by immunohistochemistry. Also, we investigated the MUC4 localization around vessels of healthy conjunctiva (n = 10). Results: The immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated membrane-associated mucin expression in epithelia of CMM, nevi and healthy conjunctiva, whereas only MUC4 was localized perivascular in CMM tissue in this preliminary analysis. Co-staining analysis with vWf and KI67 demonstrated MUC4 localization around stromal vessels in human CMM specimens. In contrast, no MUC4 localization has been seen around healthy conjunctiva stroma vessels. Conclusions: MUC4 was detected around vWf/KI67-positive CMM stromal vascular tissue, but not around healthy conjunctival stroma vessels. Therefore, we assume that MUC4 might play a role in tumor cell migration toward vessels inducing metastasis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1382-1388
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 03.10.2017

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)


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