Forty-two cervical biopsies with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia were compared with respect to the expression of human papillomavirus (HPV) structural proteins and the expression of the cellular structural protein involucrin, a marker of suprabasal squamous differentiation. HPV structural protein and involucrin expression displayed an inverse correlation with the severity of dysplasia. Both of these proteins were detected in 11 of 28 cases (39%) of mild and moderate dysplasia, but in only two of 14 (14%) cases of severe dysplasia. This difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001). The presence of HPV was also associated with expression of involucrin in the full thickness of the epithelium, including the basal layer, and an altered staining pattern in the more superficial cells, particularly the koilocytotic cells. These findings support the hypothesis that squamous differentiation is required for the expression of viral structural proteins and that HPV infection begins in the basal epithelium. The study also demonstrates the utility of involucrin staining in differentiating virus-induced cytologic atypia from true neoplasia.
- Carcinoma in situ
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology