In a recent study of low-grade cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs), we reported that infection with both low- and high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) upregulated cyclin A, B, E, and Ki67 expression in basal and suprabasal cells. In view of the intricate link between cell cycle exit, proliferation, and differentiation, we examined the morphologic distribution of cytokeratins 13 and 14 and involucrin expression in 49 low-grade SILs infected with HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 39, 42, 43, 44, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, and 66; 2 lesions contained both low- and high-risk HPVs. The findings were compared with 30 high-grade SILs infected with HPV types 16, 31, 33, 51, 58, 66, and 67; 3 of these were infected with 2 different HPVs. In low-grade lesions, the differentiation markers were expressed normally, showing that differentiation proceeds despite upregulation of cell cycle-associated proteins. Loss of involucrin (3 of 33) and cytokeratin 13 (8 of 33) expression occurred only in the high-grade lesions and was therefore related to lesion grade. Loss of cytokeratin 14 expression was also significantly more frequent in high-grade than in low-grade lesions (19 of 33 upsilon 12 of 51; P < .01). In addition, cytokeratin 14 expression was significantly less frequent in the intermediate and superficial layers of low-grade SILs infected with highrisk HPVs than in those infected with low-risk HPVs (3 of 27 upsilon 14 of 24; P < .001). These findings are consistent with in vitro data and suggest that abnormalities of both cell cycle control and squamous differentiation are important in HPV-associated neoplastic transformation. Copyright (C) 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company.
- Squamous intraepithelial lesion