Hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1A) is a transcription factor that plays an "angiogenic switch" role especially under hypoxia microenvironment in solid tumor. However, the functions and clinical significance of HIF-1A in gallbladder cancer (GBC) are still controversial, and it has not been studied in normal gallbladder tissues. In this study, we sought to clarify the role of sub-cellular localization of HIF-1A expression in GBC and normal gallbladder tissues. The expressions of HIF-1A and CD34 in 127 GBC and 47 normal gallbladder tissues were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Cox's proportional hazards model analysis and Kaplan-Meier method analysis were used to assess the correlations between these factors and clinicopathological features and prognosis. HIF-1A was expressed in both cytoplasm and nucleus of GBC and normal control tissues, and was significantly correlated with microvessel density (MVD). GBC tissues with positive nuclear HIF-1A expression had higher MVD compared to that with positive cytoplasmic HIF-1A expression; however, in normal gallbladder tissues, samples with positive cytoplasmic HIF-1A had higher MVD compared to that with positive nuclear HIF-1A expression. Moreover, GBC with nuclear HIF-1A expression tended to be more poorly differentiated and had larger tumor size compared to that with cytoplasm HIF-1A expression. Furthermore, GBC patients with nuclear HIF-1A positive were significantly correlated with worse overall survival (OS) compared with cytoplasmic HIF-1A positive. Multivariate Cox regression analysis identified lymph node metastasis and nuclear HIF-1A expression to be independent prognostic parameter in GBC. Our findings provide evidence for the first time that HIF-1A is expressed in normal gallbladder tissues. Nuclear HIF-1A and cytoplasm HIF-1A plays different roles in GBC and normal gallbladder tissues.
Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1alpha (HIF-1A) plays different roles in Gallbladder Cancer and Normal Gallbladder Tissues.