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J Histochem Cytochem. 1993 Aug;41(8):1185-96.

Analysis of ODC and c-myc gene expression in hepatocellular carcinoma by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry.

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Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75216.


We quantitated mRNA and protein for ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and c-myc in formalin-fixed liver sections from 25 specimens of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and seven normal livers by a non-radiolabeled in situ hybridization technique and immunohistochemistry. This non-radioactive in situ hybridization technique was highly specific, with virtually no background, and permitted quantitative analysis based on optical density. Reaction products were quantitated with computer-assisted microdensitometry. Samples were classified as normal, adjacent uninvolved, cirrhosis, well-differentiated HCC, and poorly-differentiated HCC. There was a progressive increase in all four parameters measured, ODC mRNA and protein, and c-myc mRNA and protein, from normal, to adjacent uninvolved liver, to cirrhosis, to well-differentiated HCC, to poorly-differentiated HCC. The sole exception was that ODC mRNA was lowest in cirrhosis. The patterns of ODC and c-myc gene expression are similar in HCC. The quantitative detection of ODC mRNA, c-myc mRNA, and their protein products in hepatocellular carcinoma and cirrhosis by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical techniques may have a potential role in the study of hepatocarcinogenesis and in the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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