Foto del docente

Cinzia Benazzi

Full Professor

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences

Academic discipline: VET/03 Veterinary Pathology


Keywords: myoepithelial cells metastasis mammary tumour EVC2 gene limbin gene mutation carnivores

Mammary tumours of the dog and cat. Determination of the accuracy of survival prognostic parameters, evaluating the influence of kinetic indices, apoptosis and adhesion molecules (such as E-cadherin and beta-catenin). Tumour lymphangiogenesis and survival indices in the cat. Application  of a new genetic-based classification system to canine mammary malignancies. Metastasis. Myoepithelial cells. Phenotypization of mammary tumors.

Studies related to various genetic mutations underlying diseases responsible for stillbirth, premature death, or congenital and noncongenital bovine tumors. 

Mammary neoplasms in the female dog and cat.

The study of survival parameters has long since been approached to establish which are more reliable for the survival of carnivores suffering from malignant mammary neoplasms. Kinetic indices have been the initial step: mitotic index, proliferation indices (immunohistochemical expression of Ki67 and PCNA)and apoptotic index (indicative of programmed cell death). The achieved information proved that cell turnover is more influenced by an increased cell production rather than a reduced loss by apoptosis. More recent immunohistochemical investigations indicated a reduced expression of adhesion molecules (E-cadherin and beta-catenin) associated with invasion in mammary malignancies, which is scarcely correlated with animal survival and kinetic indices, and therefore with prognosis. Further studies on pathways of lymphatic metastasis in mammary malignancies of the female cat have demonstrated that early metastasis does not utilize   newly formed lymphatic vessels (lymphangiogenesis investigated by laminin/VEGFR-3 immunohistochemical double-labelling), but preferably tumor cells enter the lymphatic stream via pre-existinglymphatic vessels to the regional lymph node. The present investigation is aimed to point out similarities between tumors of the human breast and canine mammary neoplasms by means of a panel of antibodies such as cytocheratin 14, 19, 5/6 and vimentin (all cytoskeletal proteins), hormone receptors (estrogens and progesterone) and oncoprotein (HERB-b2). The results obtained so far have allowed the re-classification of mammary tumors of the dog into the 4 immunophenotypes as in the tumor pathology of the human breast (Luminal-like-A, luminal-like B, basal-like and HERB-b2 carcinoma), highlighting that the luminal like-A and B share the same phenotype, but differ in HERB-b2 expression that is considered an important prognostic index of mammary gland tumors both in the woman and dog,  At present objects of study are metastasis and myoepithelial cells. Regarding these latter, aim of the study are the markers of the different types of myoepithelial cells and their characterization by immunohistochemistry and, in collaboration with the Royal Veterinary College of London (UK), by immunofluorescence and cell cultures. Another investigation concerns the phenotyping of mammary tumors by means of immunohistochemical and biomolecular methods, in collaboration with colleagues of the University of Pisa, and of the University of Maryland (USA).

Anatomohistopathological and immunohistochemical investigations for example on the mutation of limbin gene in Tyrolean grey calves. The mutation is responsible for joint laxity and chondroplasia of the long bones of the subjects.