Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
On-line version ISSN 1414-431X
WANG, Dong et al. Increased immunohistochemical expression of YKL-40 in the spleen of patients with portal hypertension. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2012, vol.45, n.3, pp. 264-272. Epub Jan 26, 2012 ISSN 1414-431X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2012007500010.
YKL-40 has been identified as a growth factor in connective tissue cells and also a migration factor in vascular smooth muscle cells. To a large extent, the increase of serum YKL-40 is attributed to liver fibrosis and asthma. However, the relationship of the expression and clinical/prognostic significance of YKL-40 to the splenomegaly of patients with portal hypertension is unclear. In the present study, the expression of YKL-40 was studied by immunohistochemistry in 48 splenomegaly tissue samples from patients with portal hypertension and in 14 normal spleen specimens. All specimens were quickly stored at -80°C after resection. Primary antibodies YKL-40 (1:150 dilution, rabbit polyclonal IgG) and MMP-9 (1:200 dilution, rabbit monoclonal IgG) and antirabbit immunoglobulins (HRP K4010) were used in this study. The relationship of clinicopathologic features with YKL-40 is presented. The expression of YKL-40 indicated by increased immunochemical reactivity was significantly up-regulated in splenomegaly tissues compared to normal spleen tissues. Overexpression of YKL-40 was found in 68.8% of splenomegaly tissues and was significantly associated with Child-Pugh classification (P = 0.000), free portal pressure (correlation coefficient = 0.499, P < 0.01) and spleen fibrosis (correlation coefficient = 0.857, P < 0.01). Further study showed a significant correlation between YKL-40 and MMP-9 (correlation coefficient = -0.839, P < 0.01), indicating that YKL-40 might be an accelerator of spleen tissue remodeling by inhibiting the expression of MMP-9. In conclusion, YKL-40 is an important factor involved in the remodeling of spleen tissue of portal hypertension patients and can be used as a therapeutic target for splenomegaly.
Keywords : YKL-40; MMP-9; Splenomegaly; Fibrosis; Portal hypertension; Immunohistochemistry.