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Thyroid. 1993 Summer;3(2):105-9.

Immunohistochemical analysis of expression of nm23-H1/nucleoside diphosphate kinase in human thyroid carcinomas: lack of correlation between its expression and lymph node metastasis.

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  • 1First Department of Internal Medicine, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Japan.


The nm23 gene that encodes nucleoside diphosphate (NDP) kinase has been proposed as a candidate tumor metastasis suppressor in rodent experimental carcinoma models and several types of human carcinomas. The present studies were designed to investigate, by immunohistochemical analysis, whether thyroid tissues express the nm23-H1/NDP kinase and, if so, whether the nm23-H1/NDP kinase expression is correlated to tumor metastasis suppressor potential in thyroid tumors. We found that normal thyroid epithelial cells were stained weakly but homogeneously by mouse monoclonal anti-nm23-H1/NDP kinase antibody. The staining intensity of the nm23-H1/NDP kinase in benign thyroid tumors tended to be weaker than that in normal thyroid tissues. In contrast, a series of malignant thyroid tumors expressed differently the nm23-H1/NDP kinase: the intensity of the nm23-H1/NDP kinase staining was stronger in 22 of 49 malignant tumors (45%), similar in 24 (49%), and weaker in 3 (6%) compared to that in normal tissues. The comparison of the staining intensity of the nm23-H1/NDP kinase in primary lesions of tumors with lymph node metastases and those without metastases revealed no statistically significant difference. In addition, there was also no significant difference in the nm23-H1/NDP kinase staining intensity of primary and metastatic lymph node lesions of tumors with lymph node metastases. These data indicate that the nm23-H1/NDP kinase may not be a good predictive marker for tumor regional metastatic potential in malignant thyroid tumors. We conclude that in thyroid tumors the nm23-H1/NDP kinase expression may be dissociated from metastasis suppressor activity.

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