Virchows Archiv

, Volume 427, Issue 3, pp 295–301 | Cite as

Evaluation of proliferation parameters in in vivo bromodeoxyuridine labelled lung cancers

  • M. M. F. J. Tinnemans
  • M.-H. J. H. Lenders
  • F. C. S. Ramaekers
  • B. Schutte
  • G. P. M. ten Velde
  • S. S. Wagenaar
  • G. H. Blijham
Original Article


In a series of 44 bronchial biopsies from patients suspected of having endobronchial lung carcinoma, the validity of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and Ki67 antigen as proliferative indicators was evaluated in ethanol fixed, paraffin embedded tissue. The percentages of cells positive for these markers were compared to the in vivo bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labelling index. A good correlation was found between PCNA immunoreactivity and BrdU labelling index, while Ki67-antigen expression showed a significant relation with BrdU labelling index and with PCNA expression. All three parameters showed a trend towards similar values for the individual cases. Based on the fact that Ki67 antigen is expressed in all cycling cells, whereas replicon-associated PCNA and BrdU only reflect the S-phase fraction, the differences between Ki67-antigen scores on the one hand and BrdU and PCNA scores on the other were smaller than expected. In order to determine the degree of concordance between immunohistochemically and flow cytometrically detected proliferation variables, BrdU incorporation was measured using both methods in duplicate bronchial specimens. Discrepancies in labelling indices were observed predominantly in DNA diploid samples, with consistently lower values in the flow cytometrically analysed specimens. In tumour specimens with an aneuploid DNA content, flow cytometric determination of proliferative activity yielded results similar to those obtained by tissue section examination. We conclude that the scores for PCNA and Ki67 antigen, immunohistochemically detected in ethanol fixed, paraffin embedded tissue reflect functional proliferative activity.

Key words

Bromodeoxyuridine Flow cytometry Immunohistochemistry Ki67 antigen Proliferating cell nuclear antigen 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. M. F. J. Tinnemans
    • 1
  • M.-H. J. H. Lenders
    • 1
  • F. C. S. Ramaekers
    • 1
  • B. Schutte
    • 1
  • G. P. M. ten Velde
    • 2
  • S. S. Wagenaar
    • 3
  • G. H. Blijham
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Cell Biology and GeneticsUniversity of LimburgMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of PulmonologyUniversity Hospital MaastrichtMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of PathologyOnze Lieve Vrouwe GasthuisAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity Hospital UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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