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Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2013 Dec;21(6):525-31. doi: 10.1097/PAI.0b013e31827da412.

Expression and prognostic significance of livin, caspase-3, and ki-67 in the progression of human ampullary carcinoma.

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  • 1*Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Ji'nan Departments of †Infectious Diseases ‡Pathology §Hepatobiliary Surgery, The People's Hospital of Binzhou, Binzhou, China.


Livin is a new member of the inhibitor of apoptosis proteins family of proteins that interacts with downstream caspases, such as caspase-3, caspase-7, and caspase-9, however, its role in human ampullary carcinoma has not been clearly defined. Immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate tissue samples from patients with ampullary carcinomas (n=71) using antibodies against livin, Ki-67 (a proliferation marker), and caspase-3. Livin was detected in 33/71 cases (in the cytoplasm of all and in the nucleus of only 2 cases). High livin expression correlated with cell differentiation, tumor-node-metastasis stage, and lymph node metastasis (P=0.001, P<0.001, and P=0.028, respectively). Caspase-3 and Ki-67 expression were significantly associated with differentiation (P<0.001, P=0.008, respectively). There was a significant negative correlation between livin and caspase-3 (r=-0.575, P<0.001), and a positive correlation between livin and Ki-67 (r=0.308, P=0.009). Survival of patients with high livin expression was shorter compared with that of patients with low livin expression (P=0.001). Expression of caspase-3 was not associated with overall survival in this cohort (P=0.335). Livin expression was an independent prognostic factor (hazard ratio 2.693, P=0.017), as was lymph node metastasis (hazard ratio 4.959; P<0.001). In this study livin expression significantly correlated with the proliferation marker Ki-67, but was negatively correlated with caspase-3 expression. These data suggest that livin may be a valuable prognostic factor for human ampullary carcinoma.

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