Background: E-cadherin plays an important role in cell-to-cell adhesion and cell motility and its loss is associated with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) progression. The aim of this study was to determine the expression of E-cadherin in various grades of OSCC and to correlate changes in the expression between these various grades and metastatic lymph nodes. Materials and Methods: Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to detect E-cadherin expression in normal oral mucosa, primary OSCC ( n = 37), and metastatic lymph nodes ( n = 10). E-cadherin immunoreactivity was correlated with grades of differentiation and with clinicopathological features. Results: E-cadherin immunoreactivity was found to inversely correlate with the loss of cell differentiation. The expression of E-cadherin decreased significantly in advanced cases of OSCC. However, increase in E-cadherin immunoreactivity was seen in early lesions, that is, in well differentiated ( n = 9) and moderately differentiated OSCC ( n = 13). Furthermore, E-cadherin was negative in majority of metastatic lymph nodes (7/10). Conclusions: Loss of the cell adhesion and E-cadherin plays an important role in progression of OSCC, that is, down regulation of its expression is associated with de-differentiation and metastasis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes