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Int J Mol Med. 1998 Apr;1(4):755-9.

Bcl-2 protein and apoptosis in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Author information

  • 1Division of Laboratory Medicine, Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, India.

Abstract

Many chemotherapeutic agents are thought to exert their genotoxic effects through induction of programmed cell death (PCD) (apoptosis) in tumor cells. The bcl-2 is an anti-apoptotic oncoprotein and can confer a survival advantage to tumor cells by preventing apoptosis. Overexpression of bcl-2 may therefore be implicated in resistance to chemotherapy. We studied the significance of bcl-2 expression and the PCD index in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Evaluation of bcl-2 by immunocytochemistry and PCD by an enzymatic end labelling technique using biotin-dUTP was carried out in a total of 55 cases and 40 controls. Bcl-2 was found to be expressed in 47% (26/55) of the acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases. The positive cells varied from 0-49% among individual samples. Pre-treatment (spontaneous) apoptosis was observed in 62% (34/55) cases. The mean pre-treatment PCD index was 8.27 1.3%, while the median PCD index was 5. The PCD value for the leukemic samples analyzed were then classified as either high apoptosis values ( 5) and low apoptosis values (<5). PCD index was high in 53% (29/55) and low in 47% (26/55). However, 23% (13/55) of cases did not show presence of either apoptosis or bcl-2. There was no association between clinical and laboratory parameters with the apoptotic index or bcl-2 protein expression. However, evaluation of apoptotic index and bcl-2 expression on day 7 of induction chemotherapy showed a borderline correlation between these markers and initial WBC count, presence of mediastinal mass and hepatosplenomegaly. Follow-up of these patients is being done to look for any association between treatment response and apoptosis.

PMID:
9852293
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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