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Pathol Int. 2005 Mar;55(3):122-9.

Immunohistochemical analysis of cleaved caspase-3 detects high level of apoptosis frequently in diffuse large B-cell lymphomas of the central nervous system.

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Department of Human Pathology, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan.


The purpose of the present paper was to examine the level of apoptosis and the relationships among apoptosis, apoptosis-associated proteins, and proliferating potential in lymphoma tissues to clarify the characteristics of apoptosis in diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) of the central nervous system (CNS). The formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues of CNS and non-CNS DLBCL (20 cases each) were studied by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-nick end labeling (TUNEL) and immunohistochemistry, using antibodies against single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), cleaved caspase-3, bcl-2, bax, p53, Fas and Ki-67. The cleaved caspase-3 immunohistochemistry detected apoptosis of the lymphoma cells most sensitively compared to TUNEL and ssDNA immunohistochemistry. High expression (grade + + or + + +) of cleaved caspase-3 was found more frequently in CNS DLBCL (11 cases, 55%) than non-CNS DLBCL (three cases, 15%; P = 0.009). Bax-positivity of lymphoma cells was increased in six cases of CNS DLBCL, which also showed high positivity of cleaved caspase-3. There was no significant correlation between the cleaved caspase-3-positivity and the Ki-67 positivity. The present study indicates that the number of apoptotic cells and expression level of cleaved caspase-3 were significantly higher in CNS DLBCL than non-CNS DLBCL, and that the correlation of bax and cleaved caspase-3 expression was often present in CNS DLBCL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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