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Br J Urol. 1996 Mar;77(3):367-72.

Detection and distribution of heat shock proteins 27 and 90 in human benign and malignant prostatic tissue.

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West Glasgow Hospitals University NHS Trust, UK.



To determine whether it is possible to predict the behaviour of prostate tumours by identifying cellular characteristics, specifically specific heat shock proteins (HSPs).


An immunohistochemical study staining for HSP 27 and 90 was undertaken on 15 benign and 13 malignant samples of freshly frozen prostatic tissue obtained from patients with a similar age range in each group (benign, mean age 71.6 years, range 61-86; malignant, mean age 72.7 years, range 58-87). Gleason scores for the tumours ranged from 2 to 8.


Consistent patterns of cytoplasmic staining were seen in all sections of tissue from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The stroma stained strongly positive for HSP 27, but negatively for HSP 90 and glandular epithelium showed positive apical staining for both HSPs. Stromal patterns in prostatic carcinoma tissue were similar to that of BPH tissue for both HSP 27 and 90. Areas of prostatic intra-epithelial neoplasia stained as strongly as did adjacent areas of BPH. For HSP 27, there was varied staining of individual epithelial cells, suggesting cellular heterogeneity, with an apparent reduction in staining with increasing Gleason score and invasiveness. For HSP 90, this pattern was less marked, with a predominance for positive staining throughout all grades of carcinoma.


The distribution of HSPs, primarily HSP 27, may aid in identifying different cell populations within prostatic carcinomas and thus help forecast biological behaviour.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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