Expression of cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2, syndecan-1 and connective tissue growth factor in benign and malignant breast tissue from premenopausal women

Stromal factors have been identified as important for tumorigenesis and metastases of breast cancer. From 49 premenopausal women, samples were collected from benign or malignant tumors and the seemingly normal tissue adjacent to the tumor. The factors studied, with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry, were cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-1 and COX-2), syndecan-1 (S-1) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF).

COX-1 and S-1 mRNA levels were higher in the malignant tumors than in normal and benign tissues. The COX-2 mRNA level was lower in the malignant tumor than in the normal tissue, while CTGF mRNA did not differ between the groups.

COX-1 immunostaining was higher in stroma from malignant tumors than in benign tissues, whereas COX-2 immunostaining was higher in the malignant tissue. Glandular S-1 immunostaining was lower in malignant tumors compared to benign and normal tissues, and the opposite was found in stroma.

Conclusively, mRNA levels of COX-1 and COX-2 were oppositely regulated, with COX-1 being increased in the malignant tumor while COX-2 was decreased. S-1 protein localization switched from glandular to stromal cells in malignant tissues. Thus, these markers are, in premenopausal women, localized and regulated differently in normal/benign breast tissue as compared to the malignant tumor.