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Anal Quant Cytol Histol. 1999 Apr;21(2):166-73.

Image analysis of p53 and cyclin D1 expression in premalignant lesions of the oral mucosa.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The expression of p53 and cyclin D1 proteins was analyzed by image analysis in oral premalignant lesions and normal oral mucosa.

STUDY DESIGN:

Punch biopsies from the normal oral mucosa were obtained from 20 normal donors and 41 patients with oral dysplastic leukoplakias. After controlled formaldehyde fixation and paraffin embedding, immunohistochemistry was used to detect cyclin D1 and p53. Image analysis was performed using stain intensity levels established by determining color thresholds (nuclear score) in the basal and parabasal layers.

RESULTS:

Analysis of sections showed a similar pattern: only two normal donors had a few intensely positive p53 cells in the basal layer of the floor of the mouth and the tongue epithelia. Similarly, only three donors had intensely positive cyclin D1 cells in the normal epithelia of the same sites. Most cells fell in the range of negative or marginal stain (lower quartiles or terciles of nuclear score). These data on normal mucosa were compared with low grade oral leukoplakias (LGD) with mild to moderate dysplasia and with high grade leukoplakias (HGD) with severe dysplasia. Both markers were differentially expressed in precursor lesions versus normal epithelia. Statistical analysis of our data shows that the intensity of the immunohistochemical stain, as reflected in the nuclear scores of p53, is a reliable parameter that can differentiate between LGD and HGD of the oral mucosa. This was especially true when higher nuclear scores were compared. In contrast, low nuclear scores are more effective in differentiating normal epithelia from dysplastic epithelia. Although cyclin D1 immunohistochemistry does not stain as intensely as p53 stain, similar conclusions can be derived from those data.

CONCLUSION:

Image analysis of these two markers proved useful in distinguishing normal oral epithelia from low grade and high grade leukoplakias. With further developments in this field it is hoped that image analysis procedures could be used in different types of studies in which variations of protein expression in tissue sections could have prognostic implications or could be useful to determine subtle effects of curative or preventive treatment.

PMID:
10560487
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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