Expression of proliferative markers in ameloblastomas and malignant odontogenic tumors

D Otero, S Q C Lourenço, I Ruiz-Ávila, M Bravo, T Sousa, P A S de Faria, M A González-Moles
Oral Diseases 2013, 19 (4): 360-5

OBJECTIVE: To compare the proliferative activity in ameloblastoma and malignant odontogenic tumors, as assessed by Ki-67 immunostaining and determine whether expression of substance P (SP) and NK-1 receptor (NK-1R) is related to cell proliferation in these tumors.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate protein expression in 44 benign and malignant odontogenic tumors from 39 patients. Immunohistochemistry was performed with anti-SP, anti-NK-1R, and anti-Ki-67 monoclonal antibodies, and the clinical and pathological data of the patients with odontogenic tumor were evaluated.

RESULTS: Expression of Ki-67 in malignant odontogenic tumors was significantly higher than in ameloblastomas (P < 0.001), and the expression level was associated with higher expression of NK-1R. Among the ameloblastomas, there was significantly higher expression of Ki-67 in peripheral ameloblastic-like cells (3.3 ± 4.1) than in stellate reticulum-like cells (2.6 ± 3.7) (P = 0.04). In the majority of tissue locations of the malignant tumors, expression of SP and NK-1R was positively correlated with higher expression of Ki-67.

CONCLUSION: These findings show that the expression level of Ki-67 in ameloblastomas was positively correlated with the rate of growth of odontogenic tumors. Overexpression of NK-1R complex in malignant odontogenic tumors could be part of the trigger stimulus that results in higher proliferative activity of the tumor.

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