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Histopathology. 2011 May;58(6):854-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2011.03835.x.

Divergent behaviour of oxidative stress markers 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) in breast carcinogenesis.

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  • 1Departments of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.



To clarify the role of oxidative stress during breast carcinogenesis by studying the expression of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) (a marker of oxidative DNA damage) and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) (a marker of lipid peroxidation) during the different phases of breast carcinogenesis.


The study material consisted of a total of 219 patients: 31 with usual ductal hyperplasia (UDH), 25 with atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), 30 with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and 133 with invasive carcinoma. The expression of 8-OHdG and HNE were evaluated immunohistochemically. Both 8-OHdG (77.4%) and HNE (45.8%) expression was already seen in UDH lesions. Interestingly, the trend of these two immunostainings during breast carcinogenesis was diverse. 8-OHdG expression diminished significantly in invasive breast carcinomas compared to non-invasive lesions (P < 0.005 when set against non-invasive cohorts). Also within the same lesions, 8-OHdG expression was the most intensive in benign cells. Conversely, HNE immunostaining was strongest in invasive breast carcinomas (UDH versus invasive cohort, P = 0.015).


4-hydroxy-2-nonenal as a marker of lipid peroxidation increases during breast carcinogenesis, reflecting the role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. However, 8-OHdG shows diminished levels in carcinomas, possibly resulting from the induction of DNA repair in these invasive lesions.

© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Limited.

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