Journal of molecular histology

AhR expression is increased in hepatocellular carcinoma.

PMID 23547017


The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor implicated in multiple cellular processes and its expression has been shown to play a critical role in tumorigenesis. However, the role of AhR in tumorigenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma remains unclear. In the current study, we investigated the role of AhR in hepatocellular carcinoma tumorigenesis and progression by (a) measuring the expression levels of AhR in liver lesions and (b) assessing the correlation between AhR expression and clinicopathologic parameters. The tissue microarray used in this study contained hepatocellular carcinoma tissues (n = 94), cancer adjacent normal hepatic tissues (n = 5) and normal hepatic tissues (n = 5), which were immunohistochemically assessed for AhR expression. Significantly stronger AhR staining was observed for hepatocellular carcinoma tissues than for cancer adjacent normal hepatic tissues (P = 0.003) and normal hepatic tissues (P = 0.004). In addition, AhR expression was associated with T stage (P = 0.03). The results from this study suggest that an increase in AhR expression is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma progression and may have a potential role in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.