The mechanism by which neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) induces malignancy in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer (EOC) is still unknown. This study is the first to demonstrate the relationship between NRP-1 expression and EMT markers vimentin, N-cadherin, E-cadherin and Slug. We used tissue microarrays containing the three main subtypes of EOC tumors: serous, mucinous cystadenocarcinoma and endometrioid adenocarcinoma and representative cases retrieved from our pathology archives. Immunohistochemistry was performed to detect the expression levels and location of NRP-1 and the aforementioned EMT proteins. NRP-1 was mainly expressed on cancer cells but not in normal ovarian surface epithelium (OSE). The Immunoreactive Scoring (IRS) values revealed that the expression of NRP-1, Slug and E-cadherin in the malignant subtypes of ovarian tissues was significantly higher (5.18 ± 0.64, 4.84 ± 0.7, 4.98 ± 0.68, respectively) than their expression in the normal and benign tissues (1.04 ± 0.29, 0.84 ± 0.68, 1.71 ± 0.66, respectively), with no significant differences among the studied subtypes. Vimentin was expressed in the cancer cell component of 43% of tumors and it was exclusively localized in the stroma of all mucinous tumors. The Spearman’s rho value indicated that NRP-1 is positively related to the EMT markers E-cadherin and Slug. This notion might indicate that NRP-1 is a partner in the EMT process in EOC tumors.
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