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Int J Cancer. 1997 Jul 29;72(3):385-8.

Quantitative analysis of tryptase and chymase containing mast cells in benign and malignant breast lesions.

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1
Department of Pathology, Kuopio University Hospital, Finland.

Abstract

The aim of our work was to study the number and distribution of tryptase- and chymase-containing mast cells in benign and malignant breast lesions. Tryptase positivity reflects the total number of mast cells, whereas chymase is not present in all mast cells. Active forms of tryptase and chymase were demonstrated enzymo-histochemically in 30 benign and 98 malignant fresh frozen breast lesions, which were graded and analysed morphometrically and statistically. The exclusive presence of tryptase and chymase in mast cells was confirmed in 5 cases by a sequential double-staining method. In benign lesions, the number of mast cells exhibiting tryptase activity was similar to that of chymase-active mast cells. Malignant tumours, however, had 2 to 3 times more tryptase-containing than chymase-containing mast cells, while the number of mast cells with tryptase activity was significantly higher (p < 0.02) than in benign lesions. In malignant lesions, tryptase-containing mast cells were concentrated at the tumour edge, i.e., the "invasion zone," whereas chymase-containing mast cells were not increased in this area.

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