Mucin genes (MUC2, MUC4, MUC5AC, and MUC6) detection in normal and pathological endometrial tissues

Francesc Alameda, Raquel Mejías-Luque, Marta Garrido, Carme De Bolós

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Changes in the composition and physical properties of the mucous gel covering the endometrial surface are detected during the menstrual cycle and in pathological conditions. The aim of this study is to analyze the expression patterns of the 11p15 secreted mucins, MUC2, MUC5AC, and MUC6, and the membrane-bound mucin MUC4 in proliferative and secretory normal endometrium, simple and complex hyperplasia, and endometrial adenocarcinoma.A total of 98 samples, 19 of normal endometrium (11 proliferative and 8 secretor), 44 of endometrial hyperplasia (23 simple, 21 complex), and 35 of endometrial endometrioid adenocarcinomas were analyzed by immunohistochemical techniques using specific antimucin antibodies. In the endometrial proliferative glandular epithelium, only MUC4 is detected (36.3% cases). During the secretory phase, increased levels of MUC2 are found (37.5%), whereas MUC4 is less detected (12.5%). In simple hyperplasia, higher levels of mucins are expressed in the endometrial glands: MUC2 is detected in 8.7%, MUC4 in 43.4%, and MUC5AC and MUC6 in 13% of the samples, whereas in complex hyperplasia, decreased levels of mucin expression are found: MUC2 and MUC5AC are not detected, and MUC4 (28.5%) and MUC6 (20.4%) are positive. In endometrial adenocarcinoma, MUC4 is highly detected (77.1%) and increased levels of MUC5AC and MUC6 are found (61.7% and 48.5%), whereas MUC2 is poorly detected (8.5%). These findings suggest that during endometrial neoplasic transformation, increased levels of MUC4, MUC5AC, and MUC6 are detected, whereas MUC2 is only significantly detected in the secretory endometrium. ©2007 International Society of Gynecological Pathologists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-65
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Endometrial adenocarcinoma
  • Mucins
  • Secretory and proliferative endometrium
  • Simple and complex hyperplasia


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