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Jpn J Cancer Res. 1997 Dec;88(12):1190-8.

Nitric oxide synthase activity in human lung cancer.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Kumamoto University School of Medicine.


Nitric oxide synthases (NOS) exist in human tumor cell lines and solid tumor tissues, and it has been suggested that NO may play important roles in growth, progression or metastasis of tumors. We investigated the activity and distribution of NOS in a series of human cancer and normal lung tissues. Seventy-two primary lung cancer samples (44 cases of adenocarcinoma, 18 of squamous cell carcinoma, 4 of large cell carcinoma, 2 of small cell carcinoma, 2 of adenosquamous carcinoma, and 2 of carcinoids) and corresponding normal lung samples were obtained from surgically treated patients. In normal lung tissues, little NOS activity was observed with no correlation between the patient's age and NOS activity. The total NOS activities in lung adenocarcinoma samples were significantly higher than those in other types of lung cancers of normal lung samples (P < 0.05). Analysis by tumor grade of the adenocarcinoma samples revealed no significant difference of NOS activity between grades. TNM classification showed that, although T stage did not correlate with NOS activity, cancer tissues from patients with N2 disease tended to have lower activity than those from patients with NO or N1 disease. Immunohistochemical studies revealed that the intensity of NOS immunoreactivity correlated with NOS activity. These results suggest that NO may play an important role in the metabolism and behavior of lung cancers, especially adenocarcinoma.

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