Expression of serum amyloid A in human ovarian epithelial tumors: Implication for a role in ovarian tumorigenesis

Simcha Urieli-Shoval, Zvezdana Finci-Yeheskel, Shira Dishon, Daliah Galinsky, Reinhold P. Linke, Ilana Ariel, Mark Levin, Inbar Ben-Shachar, Diana Prus

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50 Scopus citations


Serum amyloid A (SAA) is an acute phase protein which is expressed primarily in the liver as a part of the systemic response to various injuries and inflammatory stimuli; its expression in ovarian tumors has not been described. Here, we investigated the expression of SAA in human benign and malignant ovarian epithelial tumors. Non-radioactive in situ hybridization applied on ovarian paraffin tissue sections revealed mostly negative SAA mRNA expression in normal surface epithelium. Expression was increased gradually as epithelial cells progressed through benign and borderline adenomas to primary and metastatic adenocarcinomas. Similar expression pattern of the SAA protein was observed by immunohistochemical staining. RT-PCR analysis confirmed the overexpression of the SAA1 and SAA4 genes in ovarian carcinomas compared with normal ovarian tissues. In addition, strong expression of SAA mRNA and protein was found in the ovarian carcinoma cell line OVCAR-3. Finally, patients with ovarian carcinoma had high SAA serum levels, which strongly correlated with high levels of CA-125 and C-reactive protein. Enhanced expression of SAA in ovarian carcinomas may play a role in ovarian tumorigenesis and may have therapeutic application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1015-1023
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Ovarian epithelial tumors
  • Ovarian tumorigenesis
  • Serum amyloid A


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