Extravascular fibrin deposition is frequently observed within and around neoplastic tissue and has been implicated in various aspects of tumor growth. The distribution of fibrin deposits was investigated in squamous cell carcinomas representing different stages of tumor progression of the larynx (n = 25) and hypopharynx (n = 9) by immunofluorescent techniques. Double and treble labelings were used to detect fibrinogen and fibrin in combination with marker antigens for tumor cells (cytokeratin), endothelial cells (von Willebrand factor), macrophages (recognized by KiM7), as well as factor XIII subunit A (FXIIIA) and tenascin (an embryonic extracellular matrix protein newly expressed during tumorigenesis). All tissue samples showed specific staining for fibrinogen/fibrin. Fibrin deposition was localized almost exclusively in the connective tissue compartment of tumors with characteristic accumulation at the interface of connective tissue and the tumorous parenchyma. In certain tumor samples showing highly invasive characteristics, fibrin deposits were observed in close association with tumor blood vessels in the tumor cell nodules. The overlapping reactions with polyclonal antibody to fibrinogen/fibrin and monoclonal antibody to fibrin indicate the activation of the coagulation cascade resulting in in situ thrombin activation and fibrin formation. Fibrin was crosslinked and stabilized by FXIIIA as revealed by urea insolubility test. Accumulation of phagocytozing macrophages detected by Ki M7 monoclonal antibody could be seen in areas of fibrin deposition. The blood coagulation factor XIIIA was detected in and around the cells labeled with Ki M7 antibody. Tenascin and fibrin deposits were found in the same localization in the tumor stroma and in association with tumor blood vessels within the tumor cell nodules. Neither fibrin nor tenascin were detected in the histologically normal tissue adjacent to tumors. The close association between fibrin deposits and macrophage accumulation strongly suggests the active participation of tumor-associated macrophages in the formation of stabilized intratumoral fibrin that facilitates tumor matrix generation and tumor angiogenesis.
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