We have previously demonstrated that the human erythrocyte glucose transporter (Glut1) is expressed in adenocarcinoma arising in Barrett's metaplasia (BM). We have also shown that Glut1 is expressed as a late event during colorectal carcinogenesis. The aim of this work was to determine the chronology of Glut1 expression during the neoplastic progression in Barrett's metaplasia. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections of 251 biopsies from 97 patients with BM were immunostained with the anti-Glut1 antibody MYM, after microwave-aided antigen retrieval, using the standard avidin-biotin complex immunoperoxidase technique. Dysplasia was graded as negative (ND), low grade (LGD)/indefinite or high grade (HGD). None of the 181 biopsies with ND (0%) or 51 biopsies with LGD (0%) showed Glut1 immunoreactivity. More importantly, although 0 of 6 biopsies with HGD (0%) expressed Glut1, 9 of 13 biopsies with adenocarcinoma (69%) were Glut1 positive (P = 0.0108, Fisher's exact test). Our results indicate that Glut1 is expressed as a late event during the neoplastic progression in BM. Prospective studies are needed to determine the clinical utility of Glut1 immunoreactivity as a marker of carcinoma in patients with BM.

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