Estrogen receptor β in Merkel cell carcinoma: its possible roles in pathogenesis

Abdullah Azmahani, Yasuhiro Nakamura, Hirotaka Ishida, Keely May Mcnamara, Taku Fujimura, Takahiro Haga, Akira Hashimoto, Setsuya Aiba, Hironobu Sasano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Sex steroids have been postulated to influence skin development and functions as well as its pathogenesis. MCC occurs in both sexes; however, the specific differences in pathogenesis among sexes have yet to be conclusively defined. The detailed status of sex steroid receptors (AR, PRA and PRB, and ERα, ERβ) are also unknown in MCC patients. We first immunolocalized sex steroid receptors and compared the results with immunolocalization of relevant transcription factors including SOX2, FOXA1, and Bcl-2 and Ki-67 in 18 cases of MCCs. AR, PRA, PRB, ERα, ERβ, Bcl-2, SOX2, and FOXA1 immunoreactivity was evaluated by using the modified H score method, and Ki-67 was quantified using labeling index. ERβ immunoreactivity was markedly present in all the cases of MCC examined, with relatively weak immunoreactivity of ERα, AR, PRA, and PRB. The status of ERβ immunoreactivity was also significantly correlated with Ki-67 labeling index and Bcl-2 score. These results demonstrated that ERβ could be associated with regulation of both cell proliferation and apoptosis in MCCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-133
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Pathology
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 1


  • ERβ
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Merkel cell carcinoma
  • Sex steroid receptor
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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