Gingival squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) frequently invades the maxillary or mandibular bone, and bone destruction is known as a key prognostic factor in gingival SCCs. Recently, Neurokinin 3 receptor (NK-3R), the receptor ligand for NK-3, which is a member of the tachykinin family expressed in the central nervous system, was identified through pathway analysis as a molecule expressed in osteoclasts induced by the hedgehog signal. Although the expression of NK-3R has been detected in osteoclast and SCC cells at the bone invasion front, the relationship between NK-3R expression and the prognosis of gingival SCC patients remains unclear. In the present study, we retrospectively reviewed 27 patients with gingival SCC who had undergone surgery with curative intent. Significantly higher NK-3R expression in tumor cells was found in a case of jawbone invasion than in a case of exophytic poor jawbone invasion. On the other hand, no significant association was observed between NK-3R tumor-positive cases and tumor size, TNM stage, or tumor differentiation. The survival rate tended to be lower in NK-3R tumor-positive cases, but not significantly. However, the disease-specific survival rate was significantly lower in patients with a large number of NK-3Rpositive osteoclasts than in those with a small number of them at the tumor bone invasion front. Our results suggest that NK-3R signaling in the gingival SCC bone microenvironment plays an important role in tumor bone destruction and should be considered a potential therapeutic target in advanced gingival SCC with bone destruction.
- Gingival squamous cell carcinoma
- Neurokinin B receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry