Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky 40292, USA.
Our objective was to correlate p16, p21cip1, p27kip1, and cyclin E protein expression with the degree of dysplasia on ThinPrep Papanicolaou (Pap) smears using a modified immunoperoxidase staining. Smears read as normal, atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL), or high-grade SIL (HSIL) were identified and tested for high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV). Additional smears were processed for immunoperoxidase for p16, p21cip1, p27kip1, and cyclin E. Thirty-four smears were satisfactory for study. The p16 was positive in all nine HSIL, in four of nine LSIL, and in one of seven ASC-US. The p27kip1 was positive in all nine HSIL, in eight of nine LSIL, and in one of seven ASC-US. The p21cip1 was positive in all nine HSIL, in one of nine LSIL, and in one of seven ASC-US. Cyclin E was positive in seven of nine HSIL and in one of nine LSIL and in none of the ASC-US smears. Normal smears were negative for all the antigens. There was poor correlation of protein expression and HR-HPV infection. We concluded that p16, p21cip1, p27kip1, and cyclin E can be demonstrated on Pap smears and they are expressed differentially in dysplastic cells, with highest expression in HSIL. The p21cip1 and cyclin E showed the greatest correlation with HSIL.