Immunohistochemical analysis of Bcl-2, Bcl-X, Mcl-1, and Bax in tumors of central and peripheral nervous system origin.
- Additional Document Info
- View All
The expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-X, Mcl-1, and Bax was examined by immunohistochemical methods in 93 tumors of nervous system origin, including 49 gliomas (30 astrocytomas and 19 glioblastoma multiforme (GMs)), 16 medulloblastomas (MBs), 19 neuroblastomas (NBs; 9 undifferentiated and 10 differentiated), and 9 miscellaneous neuroectodermal neoplasms. Among the 49 gliomas, immunopositivity (defined as > or = 10%) was observed for Bcl-2 in 45 (92%), Bcl-X in 48 (98%), Mcl-1 in 49 (100%), and Bax in 48 (98%) of 49 specimens. In 11 (37%) of 30 astrocytomas (WHO grades I to III), the tumor specimens were composed predominantly of malignant cells with strong-intensity Bcl-2 immunostaining, whereas none of the 19 GMs (WHO grade IV) exhibited strong-intensity Bcl-2 immunoreactivity (P = 0.001). Similarly, Mcl-1 immunointensity was strong in 15 (50%) of 30 astrocytomas, compared with only 2 (11%) of 19 GMs (P = 0.005). The percentage of Mcl-1-immunopositive tumor cells was also higher in astrocytomas than GMs (P < 0.002). Thus, contrary to a priori expectations, the expression of the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 was significantly higher in astrocytomas than in GMs. Of the 16 MBs, immunopositivity was found for Bcl-2 in 4 (25%), Bcl-X in 9 (56%), Mcl-1 in 8 (50%), and Bax in 16 (100%) of the cases. The intensity of immunostaining was strong for Bcl-2 in only 1 (6%) specimen, for Bcl-X in 3 (19%), and for Mcl-1 in 2 (12.5%), in contrast to Bax immunostaining, which was strong in 12 (75%) tumors. Significantly higher percentages of Bax-immunopositive tumor cells were also found in MBs, compared with Bcl-2, Bcl-X, and Mcl-1 (P < 0.0001). All 19 NBs were immunopositive for Bcl-2, Bcl-X, Mcl-1, and Bax. Higher percentages of Bcl-X- and Mcl-1-immunopositive tumor cells were observed in well differentiated tumors (P = 0.04 and 0.004, respectively). The intensity of Mcl-1 immunostaining was also generally higher in differentiated than undifferentiated NBs (strong immunointensity in 7 of 10 versus 0 of 9; P = 0.002). Conversely, strong-intensity Bax immunostaining was associated with undifferentiated histology (5 of 9 (56%) versus 1 of 10 (10%); P = 0.03). Taken together, these findings begin to delineate trends in the regulation of the relative levels of the Bcl-2 family proteins, Bcl-2, Bcl-X, Mcl-1, and Bax in gliomas, MBs, NBs, and some of their histological subtypes. The suggestion that expression of some of these Bcl-2 family genes may be differentially regulated in association with tumor progression and differentiation provides insights into the diverse biology and clinical behavior of these tumors of nervous system origin.
has subject area