Epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin), a transmembrane glycoprotein involved in calcium-dependent homophilic cell-cell adhesion, is expressed aberrantly during cervical carcinogenesis. E-cadherin expression and putatively implicated predictors in healthy women remain a rather under-investigated area. The objective of this study is to evaluate the possible associations between E-cadherin expression and reproductive/lifestyle factors in cervical epithelial cells from postmenopausal women.Methods
A total of 105 healthy postmenopausal women (aged 45–68 years old) attending a university menopause clinic were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Pap smears were derived and E-cadherin immunostaining was evaluated in squamous, glandular and squamous metaplastic cells, using a semi-quantitative method (rating scale: 0–3). Reproductive and lifestyle factors were obtained from patients' chart review.Results
In squamous cells, women with a history of 0–1 deliveries presented with a higher score vs women with 2–4 deliveries (P = 0.003). Social drinkers and women drinking alcohol daily exhibited a higher E-cadherin immunostaining score in squamous cells vs non-drinkers (0.96 ± 0.72 vs 0.56 ± 0.65, P = 0.004). A higher dietary calcium intake was marginally correlated with a lower staining score in squamous cells (0.94 ± 0.78 for low, 0.71 ± 0.70 for average, 0.45 ± 0.52 for high consumption, P = 0.073).Conclusions
E-cadherin expression seems to be associated with reproductive history and lifestyle habits in squamous cervical cells from healthy postmenopausal women. E-cadherin might participate in the molecular mechanisms underlying the role of parity as a risk factor for cervical cancer.