The American journal of surgical pathology

p63 expression is useful in the distinction of epithelioid trophoblastic and placental site trophoblastic tumors by profiling trophoblastic subpopulations.

PMID 15316317


Human trophoblast is composed of a heterogeneous population of cells, which give rise to a variety of trophoblastic tumors and tumor-like lesions. In this report, we analyzed the expression pattern of the p63 gene, a transcription factor belonging to the p53 family, in different trophoblastic subpopulations and in trophoblastic lesions. p63 has various isoforms that are classified into two groups designated TA and DeltaNp63 isoforms. The TA isoforms have a p53-like suppressor function, whereas the DeltaNp63 isoforms exert an oncogenic effect. Based on immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR, it appears that cytotrophoblast expresses the DeltaNp63 isoform whereas chorionic-type intermediate trophoblast in the fetal membranes, placental site nodules, and epithelioid trophoblastic tumors expresses the TAp63 isoform. Intermediate trophoblast in the implantation site and placental site trophoblastic tumors does not express p63. Based on the expression patterns of p63 and the previously described expression patterns of other trophoblastic markers, including HLA-G, cytokeratin 18, hPL, and Ki-67, we developed an immunohistochemical algorithm to diagnose trophoblastic lesions. A validation set of 22 trophoblastic lesions and 34 nontrophoblastic tumors were classified correctly using this algorithm. In conclusion, the findings in this study demonstrate that different trophoblastic subpopulations and their related trophoblastic lesions are characterized by distinctive patterns of p63 expression. Recognizing these distinctive expression patterns helps to further elucidate the biology of trophoblast and can also provide a useful tool for the differential diagnosis of trophoblastic lesions.

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