Expression of estrogen receptor-beta isoforms in Barrett's metaplasia, dysplasia and esophageal adenocarcinoma

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Anticancer Research




5 A


Barrett's metaplasia; Esophagus cancer; Estrogen receptor beta


We have previously shown that the majority of esophageal adenocarcinomas (EA), and its precursor Barrett's metaplasia (BM), express estrogen receptor beta (ER-B). Several isoforms of ER-B have been described and are presumed to have different functions, but their distribution in BM and EA is not known. The aim of this work was to determine which ER-B isoforms are expressed in EA and BM. Sections of formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded esophageal tissue from 33 esophageactomy specimens, of which 27 had invasive EA, were stained for the ER-B isoforms ER-B1, ER-B2, ER-B3 and ER-B5 utilizing the immunoperoxidase method. ER-B1 was detected in 23 out of 27 (85%) EA compared to 3 out of 14 (21%) Barrett's metaplasia negative for dysplasia (BMND) (p=0.0001); ER-B2 was expressed in 22 out of 27 (81%) EA in contrast to 3 out of 14 (21%) BMND (p=0.0004); ER-B3 was positive in 27 out of 27 (100%) EA in contrast to only 1 out of 14 (7%) BMND (p<0001); ER-B5 was detected in 27 out of 27 (100%) EA compared to 9 out of 14 (62%) of BMND (p=0.0027). High- and low-grade dysplasia showed a similar ER-beta isoform expression profile to that of EA. Cancers invasive through the esophageal wall had a higher percent of cells with cytoplasmic expression of ER-B1 than tumors limited to the wall (T3 vs. T1 and T2, p=0.051). We conclude that ER-B1, ER-B2, ER-B3 and ER-B5 are overexpressed in EA compared to its precursor lesion BMND, suggesting a significant biological role for steroid hormones in EA.

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