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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2013;6(12):2919-2927

Original Article
Immunohistochemical expression of nuclear and cytoplasmic survivin in gastrointestinal
carcinoma

Michiko Shintani, Akiko Sangawa, Naoki Yamao, Shingo Kamoshida

Laboratory of Pathology, Division of Medical Biophysics, Kobe University Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kobe, Japan; Department of
Diagnostic Pathology, Osaka Red Cross Hospital, Osaka, Japan; Department of Clinical Laboratory, Kuma Hospital, Kobe, Japan

Received October 7, 2013; Accepted October 22, 2013; Epub November 15, 2013; Published December 1, 2013

Abstract: Survivin is a protein that is highly expressed in many embryonic tissues, as well as most human tumors. Prior studies have reported
both positive and negative correlations between survivin expression and cancer prognosis, but these associations remain controversial. In the
present study, we assessed the expression of nuclear and cytoplasmic survivin in gastrointestinal carcinomas. Using these data, we
determined the correlation between nuclear and cytoplasmic survivin and, further, investigated correlations between survivin expression and
clinicopathological parameters. Seventy-two advanced gastric adenocarcinomas and 78 colorectal adenocarcinomas were analyzed for
survivin expression by immunohistochemistry. Expression of both nuclear and cytoplasmic survivin was significantly higher in colorectal
carcinomas than in gastric carcinomas (P < 0.01). There was a positive correlation between nuclear and cytoplasmic expression of survivin (r =
0.42, P < 0.001). In gastric carcinomas, the level of survivin protein expression was associated with tumor differentiation, patient age, and
lymphatic invasion (P < 0.05, 0.01, and 0.01, respectively). In colorectal carcinomas, the level of nuclear survivin expression was significantly
higher in females than in males (P < 0.05). There were no significant associations between survivin expression and most of the
clinicopathological parameters. Nevertheless, there was a trend towards an inverse correlation between nuclear survivin expression and tumor
aggressiveness in gastric carcinoma; there was a similar trend for cytoplasmic survivin expression. In summary, our results suggest that
levels of nuclear and cytoplasmic survivin expression differ between gastric carcinoma and colorectal carcinoma. (IJCEP1310020).

Keywords: Survivin, immunohistochemistry, gastrointestinal carcinoma, apoptosis

Address correspondence to: Dr. Michiko Shintani, Laboratory of Pathology, Division of Medical Biophysics, Kobe University Graduate School of
Health Sciences, 7-10-2 Tomogaoka, Suma-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 654-0142, Japan. Tel: +81-78-796-4581; Fax: +81-78-796-4547; E-mail:
mtshin@kobe-u.ac.jp