Correlation of bcl-2 Oncoprotein Immunohistochemical Expression with Proliferation Index and Histopathologic Parameters in Colorectal Neoplasia

Husain A SALEH1, Ghada KHATIB1, Hershel JACKSON2, Mousumi BANERJEE3

1Department of Pathology, The Detroit Medical Center/Grace Hospital, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA
2Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Grace Hospital, Detroit, USA
3Departments of Pathology and Urology, Wayne State University, School of Medicine, Detroit, USA


Thebcl-2oncogene plays an important role in carcinogenesis by inhibiting cell death (apoptosis). It was initially discovered in follicular B cell lymphoma with t(14,18), and subsequently found in other malignant and premalignant lesions. Alteration of the normal controls of cell proliferation is also a significant factor in the multistep process of tumorigenesis. The proliferative activity of a given lesion is commonly valuated by MIB1, a monoclonal antibody to Ki67 proliferation antigen. Immuno-histochemical (IHC) staining expression of bcl-2 and Ki67 was retrospectively investigated in a series of 52 colorectal carcinomas and 56 adenomas according to the avidin-biotin-complex method. The aim of the study was twofold: 1) to investigate any correlation between MIB1 and bcl-2 immunostaining expression in colonic adenomas and carcinomas, 2) to identify any relationship between either marker and several histopathologic parameters including tumor size, pathologic stage, lymph node metastasis, angio-lymphatic invasion, tumor grade and differentiation in colon carcinomas. Bcl-2 was consistently higher in adenomas than in carcinomas. There were 44/56 (78.6%) adenomas, and 27/52 (51.9%) carcinomas positive for bcl-2 (p=0.004).The mean Ki67 labeling index (LI) was 30.05±7.6 and 38.12±11.01 in adenomas and carcinomas, respectively (p=0.0001). Expression of bcl-2 in carcinoma was significantly associated with a lower mean Ki67 LI and with favorable histopathologic parameters. We conclude that bcl-2 oncoprotein expression is probably an early step in the process of colon carcinogenesis, and its expression may be associated with a favorable clinical course. Furthermore, an inverse relationship exists between bcl-2 and Ki67 in colonic neoplasia. Evaluation of bcl-2 and Ki67 IHC expression in colonic carcinoma should be performed prospectively to determine if their expression is of value in predicting the clinical course in these patients. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 5, Nr 4, 274-279, 1999

Key words: colon carcinoma; adenoma; bcl-2; Ki-67; proliferation index; immunohistochemistry

Received: Aug 6, 1999; accepted: Oct 7, 1999
Correspondence: Husain A SALEH, Department of Pathology, The Detroit Medical Center/Grace Hospital, Wayne State University, Detroit , USA

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