Expression of p16 in Conjunctival Intraepithelial Neoplasia Does Not Correlate with HPV-Infection

Claudia Auw-Haedrich*, 1, Gottfried Martin1, Helga Spelsberg2, Rainer Sundmacher3, Nikolaus Freudenberg4, Philip Maier1, Thomas Reinhard1
1 Eye Hospital, Albert-Ludwigs-University, Killianstr. 5, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany
2 Eye Center, Clinic Pallas Otten, Switzerland
3 Eye Hospital, Heinrich-Heine-University, Moorenstr. 5, D-40125 Düsseldorf, Germany
4 Institute for Pathology, Albert-Ludwigs-University, Breisacherstr. 115a, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany

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2008 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Eye Hospital, Albert-Ludwigs-University, Killianstr. 5, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany; Tel: 0049-771-2704001; Fax: 0049-761-2704057; Email:


The aim of our study was to identify the frequency of expression of p16INK4a (CDKN2A) and HPV (human papilloma virus) in different grades of conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN).

Twelve specimens including CIN I (2), II (3), III (5), and CIN with beginning invasion (2), as well as 15 control specimens, were stained with antibodies against p16INK4a and MIB1. The presence of HPV was examined by PCR.

p16 as well as MIB1 were significantly elevated in CIN compared to control specimens (p<0.01) without correlation with the differentiation grade. Only two cases with CIN grade 3 contained HPV 16.

As few control specimens also showed increased p16INK4a expression, p16INK4a seems not to be a very reliable marker for the exact determination of CIN. It could serve as an additional diagnostic tool besides the morphological characterization. Our study suggested that p16INK4a elevation is not associated with HPV infection.

Keywords: p16, conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia, HPV.