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Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression in pituitary adenomas: relationship to the endocrine phenotype of adenoma.

Author(s): Marek Pawlikowski | Anna Gruszka | Ilona Kurnatowska | Katarzyna Winczyk | Jolanta Kunert-Radek | Andrzej Radek

Journal: Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica
ISSN 0239-8508

Volume: 44;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 37;
Date: 2006;
Original page

The expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) correlates to cell proliferation and for this reason it is commonly considered as one of proliferation markers. Since proliferation rate is an important factor determining the tumor aggressiveness, the evaluation of PCNA index (the percentage of PCNA-immunopositive nuclei in the investigated tumor sample) is suggested as useful in predicting pituitary adenoma outcome. Seventy three unselected, surgically removed pituitary adenomas were immunostained with antibodies against the pituitary hormones or their subunits and against the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). The highest PCNA index was found in ACTH-immunopositive tumors without the manifestation of the Cushing's disease ("silent" corticotropinomas). This value was significantly different in comparison to other adenoma subtypes including corticotropinomas manifesting themselves by Cushing's disease. The lowest PCNA index was noticed in monohormonal GH-secreting tumors. The adenomas which express more than one hormone (plurihormonal adenomas) seem to have a higher PCNA indices than monohormonal ones; the difference was significant in the case of mono- and plurihormonal prolactinomas. The recurrent tumors presented a higher mean PCNA index as compared to the primary tumors, although the difference was significant only in the case of prolactinomas. These findings suggest that the proliferative potential of pituitary adenomas is related to the tumor recurrence and hormone expression.
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