An inverse relationship between BCL-2 expression and cell cycle transition has been suggested by recent studies in murine models. To investigate the clinical relevance of these laboratory studies, a group of 116 paraffin-embedded non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) biopsy specimens (Working Formulation Groups D-H, and J) from a cooperative group study of cellular DNA content were analyzed for the 14;18 translocation using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods and, if sufficient tissue remained, for BCL-2 and BAX expression by immunohistochemistry. The results of these studies were then compared with the results of the previously performed flow cytometric analysis of ploidy and proliferative activity (S-phase-fraction). BCL-2 expression was inversely associated with proliferative activity (P = .001; n = 41), but there was no association between staining for Bax and %S-phase. Ploidy was not associated with either BCL-2 or BAX expression. The t(14;18) was detected in 21 of the 54 cases in which PCR-amplifiable DNA was recovered; 20 of these occurred at the major breakpoint region and 1 at the minor breakpoint region. High levels of BCL-2 or BAX expression occurred independently of t(14;18). There was no association between t(14;18) and either ploidy or proliferative activity. The inverse relationship between BCL-2 expression and proliferative activity in the intermediate- and high- grade NHLs is consistent with recent studies suggesting that Bcl-2 both retards entry into the cell cycle and inhibits apoptosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology