Human collagen XV is a prominent histopathological component of sinusoidal capillarization in hepatocellular carcinogenesis

Kouji Kimura, Masaru Nakayama, Ichiro Naito, Takaaki Komiyama, Kouichi Ichimura, Hiroaki Asano, Kazunori Tsukuda, Aiji Ohtsuka, Toshitaka Oohashi, Shinichiro Miyoshi, Yoshifumi Ninomiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Increased expression of collagen XV has been reported in hepatocellular carcinogenesis in mice. The aim of this study was to confirm the previous murine findings in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) specimens, along with the histopathological distribution of collagen XV in tumoral tissues. Methods: Sixty-three primary HCC specimens were examined. Immunostaining of collagen XV and quantitative reverse transcriptional PCR of COL15A1, which encodes collagen XV, were performed. Results: Positive staining of collagen XV was observed in all tumoral regions, regardless of differentiation level or pathological type of HCC, along the sinusoid-like endothelium, whereas collagen XV was not expressed in any non-tumoral region. The intensity score of collagen XV immunostaining and the mRNA value of COL15A1 were significantly correlated. COL15A1 expression in tumors was 3.24-fold higher than in non-tumoral regions. Multivariate analysis showed that COL15A1 expression was significantly higher in the absence of hepatitis virus and moderately differentiated HCC. Conclusions: COL15A1 mRNA was up-regulated in HCC and collagen XV was expressed along the sinusoid-like endothelium of HCC but not in non-tumoral regions, which implies that collagen XV contributes to the capillarization of HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-309
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Basement membrane
  • Capillarization
  • Collagen XV
  • Fenestrated capillary endothelium
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver sinusoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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