Beta Catenin Immunohistochemistry


Formalin fixed 3Ám paraffin sections counterstained with a modified Masson's trichrome to demonstrate collagen (blue).  Note that sections of normal uninvolved  mammary epithelia (UI) exhibit a characteristic honeycomb cytoplasmic staining pattern similar to EGFR. Adenocarcinomas (AC) may exhibit a similar staining pattern or shift from cytoplasmic to nuclear staining may occur. Nuclear staining is often seen at the periphery of the lesion or along intra-lesion papillary areas. In addition, some, but not all cribriform areas appear to exhibit nuclear staining. Also noteworthy is the lack of both nuclear and honeycomb staining patterns for many of the cells within the adenocarcinomas. Could this be indicative of loss of cell adhesion, which could increase cell mobility and/or metastasis or is it due to  fixation artifact?  Some stromal cells (possible macrophages, lymphocytes, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, etc...) have dark stained nuclei. These can be difficult to differentiate from epithelial stained nuclei at the periphery of the lesion or along stromal bands (collagen) that are present in  the lesion.    

Links to animations of beta catenin (Dr. Randall Moon's lab at Univ. of Washington)
wnt-1 signaling and accumulation of beta catenin in the nucleus
beta catenin in the absence of wnt-1 signaling.

Click on any of the thumbnail images below to enlarge.

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