Endocrine Pathology

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 387–398 | Cite as

Differential expression of human telomerase catalytic subunit mRNA by In situ hybridization in pheochromocytomas

  • Zuojie Luo
  • Jianling Li
  • Yinfen Qin
  • Yan Ma
  • Xinghuan Liang
  • Jing Xian
  • Decheng Lu
  • Minyi Wei
  • Jack Y. Yang
  • Mary Qu Yang
  • Zhiheng He
Clinical Research


In pheochromocytomas, it is very difficult to predict malignant potential by conventional histology or immunohistochemical and molecular markers. We investigated the expression of human telomerase catalytic component (hTERT) mRNA, hTERT protein, Ki-67 antigen, and p27kip1 in pheochromocytomas (27 benign, 7 suspected malignant, and 7 malignant), and evaluated the possibility of expressions of these proteins, and hTERT mRNA serve as diagnostic markers for predicting the biological behavior of these tumors. All tumors showed the classical histology and typical immunohistochemical pattern. By in situ hybridization, hTERT mRNA was expressed in 5/7 malignant tumors (defined as the presence of metastasis and/or extensive local invasion) as compared with 3/27 benign tumors. We examined the hTERT by immunohistochemistry to confirm the mRNA. hTERT mRNA expression was correlated with hTERT protein expression. All benign tumors exhibited no immunopositivity or <1% of cells stained for Ki-67 antigen. Six out of seven malignant tumors have shown either hTERT mRNA expression or Ki-67 immunoreactivity While no statistical difference in p27kip1 expressions was observed among benign, malignant, and suspected malignant tumors, there was a statistical difference between the normal adrenal medulla samples and tumors (p<0.001). Thus, hTERT mRNA detection by in situ hybridization, hTERT expression, and Ki-67 antigen expression are all useful tools for differentiating malignant from benign pheochromocytomas.

Key Words

Pheochromocytoma hTERT mRNA hTERT Ki-67 p27kip1 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zuojie Luo
    • 1
  • Jianling Li
    • 1
  • Yinfen Qin
    • 1
  • Yan Ma
    • 1
  • Xinghuan Liang
    • 1
  • Jing Xian
    • 1
  • Decheng Lu
    • 1
  • Minyi Wei
    • 1
  • Jack Y. Yang
    • 2
  • Mary Qu Yang
    • 3
  • Zhiheng He
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of EndocrinologyGuangxi Medical University and First Affiliated HospitalNanning, GuangxiChina
  2. 2.Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical School and Harvard UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesNational Human Genome Research InstituteRockvilleUSA
  4. 4.The Research DivisionIoslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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