Purpose: Expression of organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATPs) 1B1/1B3 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) induces a paradoxical enhancement of gadoxetic acid on liver magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We examined the expression profile of OATPs with regard to tumor differentiation in a genetically modified H-Ras 12V mouse model of spontaneous HCC that undergoes multistep hepatocarcinogenesis with minimal inter-individual variation. Materials and Methods: Tumor nodules were harvested from transgenic H-Ras 12V mice. Hematoxylin and eosin-stained slides were examined for tumor differentiation and high-grade pathological components (tumor necrosis, thickened trabeculae, or vascular invasion). Immunohistochemistry of OATP 1B1/1B3 was performed, and OATP expression was assessed. Results: We examined well-differentiated HCCs (n=59) in which high-grade pathological components were absent (n=49) or present (n=10). Among the well-differentiated HCCs without high-grade pathological components (n=49), OATP expression was negative, weak positive, and moderate positive in 23, 17, and nine cases, respectively. Among the well-differentiated HCCs with highgrade pathological components (n=10), OATP expression was negative, weak positive, and moderate positive in one, two, and seven cases, respectively. The ratio of positive OATP 1B1/1B3 expressing tumors was higher in HCCs with high-grade pathological components than in those without high-grade pathological components (p=0.004). Conclusion: Our findings support those of previous clinical studies that have reported the frequent appearance of gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI in moderately differentiated HCC.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (No. NRF-2017R1D1A1B03035611).
© Yonsei University College of Medicine 2021.
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