Aberrant connexin 43 and 26 expression in cervical dysplasia

Ian S. Hagemann, Theresa L. Pasha, Shelley A. Roberts, Sabrina W. Yum, Paul J. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether connexin (Cx) expression is altered in cervical dysplasia. Study Design: Cx proteins form gap junctions and are expressed in squamous epithelia including ectocervix. We used multispectral imaging to perform a quantitative immunohistochemical survey of Cx43 Cx26 in 37 archival human cervical specimens. Results: Cx43 expression was very low in normal cervix (100%), but was increased in low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSILs) (64%), primarily in a parabasal distribution. High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSILs) showed weak full-thickness Cx43 staining (53%) or lacked Cx43 (47%). An aberrant increase in Cx43 expression was often (62%) present in histologically normal areas of specimens that elsewhere harbored dysplasia. Cx26 was highly expressed in the basal layer of normal ectocervix (100%). In LSIL, 57% showed a decrease in Cx26 and the rest showed no change relative to the normal pattern. In HSIL, Cx26 was expressed in the full thickness of the epithelium, at a high level in 80% of cases and a low level in the rest. Conclusion: Cx alteration is moderately consistent in cervical dysplasia, and for Cx43 can precede histologic changes. The resulting changes in Cx signaling may be important in the pathogenesis of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-40
Number of pages13
JournalAnalytical and Quantitative Cytology and Histology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012


  • Cervix uteri
  • Connexins
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Multispectral imaging
  • Uterine cervical dysplasia


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