Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Mark Darling


Osteopontin (OPN) is a phosphorylated acidic glycoprotein that has been shown to play a vital role in tumourigenesis and metastases. The objective of this study was to determine the expression of OPN and its receptors (CD44 and integrin αvβ3) in several salivary gland cancers, and assess its clinical correlations.

Immunohistochemical techniques were used to semi-quantify the level of OPN expression and its receptors in normal salivary glands and different types of salivary gland tumour.

Our results show that in tumours of salivary gland origin, higher levels of OPN were detected in tumours which were malignant compared to those which were benign. OPN expression levels were moderately correlated with pathological grade in MEC and ACC, and with CD44 in PLGA. Integrin αvβ3 was consistently expressed in ACA. Thus, OPN has a potential role as a prognostic marker for salivary gland tumours.