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Disease Markers
Volume 24, Issue 6, Pages 287-292

Expression of EpCam and Villin in Barrett’s Esophagus and in Gastric Cardia

Mario Anders,1 Mario Sarbia,2 Carsten Grotzinger,1 Alexander Meining,3 Heinz Hofler,4 Bertram Wiedenmann,1 and Thomas Rosch1

1Department of Internal Medicine, Divisions of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Charité Medical School–Campus Virchow, Berlin, Germany
2Department of Pathology, Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin/ Sana Klinikum Lichtenberg, Berlin, Germany
3Department of Internal Medicine II, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
4Institute of Pathology, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany

Received 23 July 2008; Accepted 23 July 2008

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the current study we aimed to clarify the potential of EpCAM and villin as in vivo biomarkers for both Barrett esophagus (BE)-associated neoplasia and BE versus cardiac mucosa. Immunohistochemical staining in BE with various degrees of intraepithelial neoplasia (IN), Barrett carcinoma (BC) and in normal cardiac mucosa (CM) revealed a lack of EpCam and villin in squamous esophageal epithelium. All specimens of IN and BC showed EpCam with varying staining intensities. In 57% of CM samples a weak signal was detected; the remainder displayed strong EpCam expression. Villin was found in 97% of BE specimens and in all those with IN; 37% of BC and 75% of CM specimens were also positive. We conclude that expression of EpCam and villin differs only between squamous epithelium and BE. Determination of these proteins does not allow discrimination between different degrees of neoplasia or between esophageal intestinal metaplasia and cardiac mucosa.