Human papillomavirus infection of the uterine cervix is associated with a spectrum of benign, premalignant, and malignant epithelial lesions, a process that appears to require the coordinated effects of secondary cellular and environmental events. We have used flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry to examine the expression of the cellular markers for proliferation (interleukin-1, epidermal growth factor receptor, and transferrin receptor) and the markers of cellular differentiation (filaggrin and low-molecular-weight cytokeratin) in normal and human papillomavirus-infected human cervical tissues representing the natural range of human papillomavirus-induced disease. The results were correlated with the histologic grade of disease, human papillomavirus type, cellular deoxyribonucleic acid content, and cell cycle status. Interleukin-1 and transferrin receptor were slightly increased in high-grade dysplasias and in squamous cell carcinomas. Filaggrin expression was found to be inversely related and cytokeratin and epidermal growth factor receptor expression directly related to the degree of neoplasia. These findings indicate that cytokeratin and epidermal growth factor receptor are useful markers of cell proliferation in human papillomavirus-infected tissues and that their expression may directly increase as a result of infection.
- Human papillomavirus deoxyribonucleic acid
- cellular differentiation
- flow cytometry
- growth factors