Immunohistochemical detection of p53 and bcl-2 proteins in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Pezzella F., Morrison H., Jones M., Gatter KC., Lane D., Harris AL., Mason DY.
We have investigated the immunohistochemical expression of p53 protein in 96 cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma using a panel of five antibodies. Positive neoplastic cells were found in 30 (31.2%) cases, which could be divided into two groups according to their patterns of reactivity with the different antibodies; i.e. those positive with both polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies, and those which were stained only by monoclonal antibodies PAb1801 and/or PAb240. Positivity was nuclear in all but six cases in which cytoplasmic staining was found. In view of the hypothesis recently raised that p53 protein induces apoptosis we have compared our results with parallel staining for bcl-2 protein since bcl-2 is believed to be important, at least in lymphomas, in suppression of apoptosis. Staining for bcl-2 protein was performed on 83 cases and it was shown that p53-positive cases accounted for 10 out of 17 (59%) of the bcl-2-negative lymphomas but only for 15 out of the 66 (23%) bcl-2-positive cases, suggesting a possible relationship between the expression of these two proteins. Thus, our data show that p53 protein is abnormally expressed in a substantial proportion of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and bears a significant inverse relationship to bcl-2 protein expression. However the molecular basis of this expression remains to be elucidated.