Changes in the balance between proliferation and apoptosis during the progression of malignancy in thyroid tumours
AbstractThe aim of this study was to gain better insight into molecular changes which reflect disturbances in the balance between proliferation and apoptosis during progression of thyroid malignancy from papillary microcarcinoma (PMC) via clinically manifest papillary carcinoma (PTC) to anaplastic carcinoma (ATC). The apoptosis related molecules (Bcl-2, Bax) and proliferation related marker (PCNA) were analysed immunohistochemically in 120 archival cases comprising PMC (n=34), PTC (n=52) and ATC (n=34). In addition, in situ apoptotic cell death was analysed by the TUNEL method. The average Bcl-2 staining score did not differ between PMC and PTC (p>0.05), but was significantly lower in ATC (p<0.05).The Bax score was higher in PTCs and ATCs than in PMCs (p<0.05). Due to these changes, the Bcl-2/Bax ratio showed a marked decrease from PMC to ATC (p<0.05), while proliferation activity increased significantly from PTC to ATC (p<0.05). Despite high Bax expression, the rate of apoptotic cell death was low in the investigated carcinomas, especially in ATC, i.e. the increase in proliferative activity was not counterbalanced with appropriate cell death. Differences were found in the expression of apoptotic molecules (Bcl-2 and Bax), their ratio (Bcl-2 /Bax) and in the rate of apoptotic cell death and proliferative activity between PMC, PTC and ATC, indicating that disturbances in the balance between apoptosis and proliferation, in favour of the latter, occur gradually during the progression of malignancy in thyroid tumours.
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Copyright (c) 2009 D Cvejic, S Selemetjev, S Savin, I Paunovic, S Tatic
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