Apoptosis of tumor cells and of apparently normal renal cells (ANRC) isolated from the same kidney in 42 untreated patients with renal carcinomas (RC) was evaluated. Thirty five of the investigated tumors were of Grawitz type in different grades of differentiation. The intensity of the apoptotic process was routinely assessed by propidium iodide staining and flow- cytometry analysis. Similar results were obtained in the same cases by using TUNEL assay, by staining with annexin V and by DNA electrophoresis. In 85% of Grawitz carcinomas the proportion of apoptotic tumor cells was quite high, with mean% ± SD of 57.7 ± 27.3, whereas in transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder (TCC), the mean percentage of cells in apoptosis was of 22.3 ± 13.9. Unexpectedly, in ANRC displaying normal morphology and normal DNA content (diploidy), the mean% ± SD of apoptotic cells were found to exceed that of apoptotic tumor cells, 79.2 ± 21.6. The percentages of cells expressing Fas receptor and/or Fas ligand varied between large ranges in both tumor and ANRC, thus suggesting that other mechanisms are also involved in the activation of apoptosis. Immunohistochemical studies showed that the intensity of apoptosis correlated well with high p-53 and low bcl-2 expression. The intensity of apoptosis was generally not correlated with the cell proliferation index (S phase fraction), suggesting that in RC apoptosis can be activated in any stage of the cell cycle. Further investigations are necessary to understand the peculiar behaviour of tumor cells as well as of ANRC in renal carcinomas as compared to other types of malignancies.
- Apparently normal renal tissue
- Renal carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy