Immunochemical analysis of iron transporters and M2 macrophages in ovarian endometrioma and clear cell adenocarcinoma
- Keiko Akashi
- Yoji Nagashima
- Tsutomu Tabata
- Hideaki Oda
Affiliations: Department of Pathology, Tokyo Women's Medical University, Shinjuku, Tokyo 162‑8666, Japan, Department of Surgical Pathology, Tokyo Women's Medical University, Shinjuku, Tokyo 162‑8666, Japan, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tokyo Women's Medical University, Shinjuku, Tokyo 162‑8666, Japan
- Published online on: June 11, 2021 https://doi.org/10.3892/mco.2021.2321
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The association between iron ions and endometriosis‑associated ovarian cancer (EAOC) has been previously investigated to elucidate EAOC carcinogenesis; however, the dynamics of iron deposition in the endometrial epithelium and endometrial stroma of ovarian endometrioma (OE) remains unknown. The present study aimed to determine the expression of iron transporters on the cell surface and the distribution of tumor‑associated macrophages (TAMs) englobed with iron in the endometrial stroma. The current retrospective study investigated 20 OE and 18 ovarian clear cell adenocarcinoma (CCC) samples, using Perls Prussian blue staining and immunohistochemistry of iron transporters, including divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1), transferrin receptor (TfR) and ferroportin (FPN). Additionally, samples were stained for CD68, CD11c, CD163 and CD206, and double‑immunostained for iron and CD163 to define the distribution of macrophages. Iron transporters were identified on the endometrial epithelium of OE and CCC tumor cells, and TAMs were englobed with iron in the endometrial stroma of OE and CCC. Histological findings revealed DMT1 upregulation in OE and CCC, whereas lower TfR and FPN expression was observed in OE than in CCC. M2 macrophages were englobed with iron ions in the deep layers of the OE and CCC stroma. The endometrial epithelium located in the endometrial stroma of one patient with OE and the endometrial epithelium adjacent to CCC in two patients with CCC stained positive for the tumor proliferation marker Ki67. Epithelium infiltrating the stroma of OE may become the origin of cancer under the influence of M2 macrophages englobed with iron. These findings provide new perspectives on the malignant transformation of OE into EAOC and its possibility as a precancerous index.