IMR Press / EJGO / Volume 20 / Issue 4 / pii/1999166

European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology (EJGO) is published by IMR Press from Volume 40 Issue 1 (2019). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with S.O.G.

Open Access Original Research

Apoptosis and apoptosis-related proteins in the epithelium of human ovarian tumors: immunohistochemical and morphometric studies

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1 Departments of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot, Yale University, USA
2 Departments of Pathology, Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot, Yale University, USA
3 Department of Clinical Chemistry, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Yale University, USA
4 Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, School of Medicine, Yale University, USA
5 Department of Biological Regulation, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
6 Department of Biological Regulation, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
Eur. J. Gynaecol. Oncol. 1999, 20(4), 249–253;
Published: 10 August 1999
Abstract

Background: The origin of malignant ovarian tumors is the subject of considerable controversy, which may be resolved by elu­cidation of molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis. Therefore we have undertaken the study of apoptosis in these tumors. Methods: Apoptosis and the expression of its related proteins, Fas, Fas ligand (FasL), bcl-2 and p53, in epithelial cells of human ovarian tumors of different histological grades, were determined immunohistochemically and morphometrically. Results: Apoptosis-related proteins were absent from ovarian epithelia of patients afflicted with non-cancerous diseases. In ovarian tumors, the distribution of individual proteins varied, and depended on the grade and type of tumor. Fas and FasL were highly expressed in all tumors, while epithelial cells expressing bcl-2 were abundant in benign tumors, but their numbers signifi­cantly dwindled with the progression of malignancy. Cells expressing p53 were found in borderline tumors, and their numbers increased with malignancy, inverse of bcl-2 expression. Apoptotic tumor cells were scarce in borderline tumors and abundant in carcmomas Grouping apoptosis was found m approximately 60% of the carcmomas. Conclusions: The initial development of ovarian tumors is accompanied by high epithelial expression of Fas, FasL and bcl-2 proteins, while apoptosis and p53 proteins are detected only at later stages of tumorigenesis.

Keywords
Apoptosis
bcl-2
Fas
Fas ligand
p53
Ovarian tumors
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