Uroplakin (UP) II and UPIII are highly specific immunohistochemical markers for urothelial differentiation. Here we studied the sensitivity of UPII and UPIII in conventional and variant urothelial carcinomas (UCs).
Immunohistochemical staining for UPII and UPIII was performed on tissue microarray slides, including 105 conventional bladder UCs (BUCs), 90 upper urinary tract UCs (UUTUCs), and 47 micropapillary, 16 plasmacytoid, 22 small cell carcinoma, and 41 sarcomatoid UC variants.
UPII expression was significantly higher than UPIII expression in conventional BUC (44% vs 17%, P < .001) and UUTUC (67% vs 46%, P = .045). UPIII expression was significantly higher in UUTUC than in BUC (P < .001). In UC variants, UPII expression was significantly higher than UPIII expression in micropapillary (91% vs 25%, P < .001), plasmacytoid (63% vs 6%, P < .001), and sarcomatoid (29% vs 5%, P = .032) variants. Only rare cases of the small cell carcinoma variant had focal UPII and UPIII expression. Compared with conventional UC, the sarcomatoid variant had significantly lower UPII expression, whereas the micropapillary variant had significantly higher UPII expression (P < .001).
UPII demonstrates a significantly higher sensitivity than UPIII in conventional and variant UCs. Thus, UPII is a more valuable marker than UPIII in immunohistochemical analyses for confirming the urothelial origin of carcinomas.