PITX2 Expression in Non-functional Pituitary Neuroendocrine Tumor with Cavernous Sinus Invasion

Ryota Tamura, Kentaro Ohara, Yukina Morimoto, Kenzo Kosugi, Yumiko Oishi, Mizuto Sato, Kazunari Yoshida, Masahiro Toda
Endocrine Pathology 2019, 30 (2): 81-89
Although most pituitary neuroendocrine tumors (PitNETs) show benign behavior, a significant number of PitNETs exhibit an aggressive course including cavernous sinus (CS) invasion. To date, the cause of CS invasion has not been fully elucidated. In this study, we analyzed the relationship between CS invasion in PitNETs and the expression of PITX2 and SNAIL1, which are the transcription factors associated with the morphogenesis of pituitary gland. Sixty cases with non-functional PitNETs were classified into four types: type 1a, none of CS invasion and suprasellar expansion; type 1b, suprasellar expansion without CS invasion; type 2a, CS invasion without suprasellar expansion; and type 2b, CS invasion with suprasellar expansion. We analyzed the expression of PITX2 and SNAIL1 employing quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and immunohistochemistry. Other parameters such as mitotic count, Ki-67 index, and p53 expression were also analyzed, which were previously reported as potential tumor proliferative markers in PitNETs. PITX2 expression was significantly higher in PitNETs with CS invasion than PitNETs without CS invasion (P = 0.019). Expression of SNAIL1 was significantly elevated in PitNETs with suprasellar expansion compared with PitNETs without suprasellar expansion (P = 0.02). There was no apparent relationship between CS invasion and mitotic count, Ki-67 index, and p53 expression (mitotic count, P = 0.11; Ki-67 index, P = 0.61; p53, P = 0.66). High PITX2 expression was observed in non-functional PitNETs with CS invasion, suggesting that PITX2 may be involved in CS invasion of PitNETs.

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