Author(s): Arola J, Salmenkivi K, Liu J, Kahri AI, Heikkil P
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Abstract The p53 tumor-supressor gene has been reported as the most frequent genetic abnormality seen in human malignancies. Here we studied immunohistochemically the expression of p53 in a large series of adrenocortical tumors. The proliferative activity was assessed by the expression of Ki67. Tumor material consisted of 60 adrenocortical adenomas and 27 adrenocortical carcinomas. A tumor was scored as positive for p53 if more than 10\% of the cells showed nuclear staining. All adrenocortical adenomas were negative for p53 and the percentage of Ki67 positive cells was mostly 1-2\% but never exceeded 5\%. Hormonal activity did not reflect the proliferation index. Adrenocortical carcinomas, however, behaved differently depending on hormonal activity. 10/13 of non-functional , 0/3 Conn's, 3/7 Cushing's and 3/4 virilizing carcinomas were positive for p53. The proliferative activity was also higher in non-fuctional carcinomas compared with hormonally active tumors. Our data show that majority of adrenocortical carcinomas are positive for p53, whereas all adenomas are negative. Hormonal activity of carcinomas reflects both p53 status and proliferation index. Thus, immunohistochemical levels of p53 and Ki67 are higher in hormonally inactive adrenocortical carcinomas.
This article was published in Endocr Res
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports