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Crit Rev Toxicol. 1993;23(1):77-109.

Toxicological and pathological applications of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a novel endogenous marker for cell proliferation.

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Institute of Toxicology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Schwerzenbach.


A major stimulus to study cell proliferation, particularly in rodent carcinogenicity assays and human tumors, has been the belief that the quantification of this fundamental biological process will provide the toxicologist and pathologist with objective data allowing a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the toxicity and/or carcinogenicity of certain compounds as well as guiding more effective management of patients afflicted with neoplasia. Among the markers used for cell proliferation measurement, PCNA has recently gained much attention and holds much promise as it is intricately involved in the cell replication processes. It not only could allow measurement of the replication rates without necessitating pretreatment of the animal/tissue in prospective studies, but also would allow retrospective assessment of the proliferative rates in archival tissues due to the conservation of this marker in fixed and paraffin-embedded tissues. Finally, knowledge of the function of PCNA in the cell cycle and its regulation by other factors may help us understand the advantages and limitations of PCNA as a cell proliferation marker in its application in toxicology and as a prognostic marker in human tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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