Background. Differentiation between parathyroid hyperplasia and adenoma is difficult and based on the surgeon's skill. Microarrays and other sophisticated research tools generate information about differential gene expression in various tissues. Exploration of genes that express differentially in 1 tissue will enable identification and perhaps development of new methods of preoperative or intraoperative diagnosis. Methods. RNA was extracted from parathyroid hyperplasia and adenoma tissue and hybridized to a microarray containing 359 human complementary DNAs of known kinase genes. Signals of exposure were scanned and quantified with software for digital image analysis (Atlas-image, v. 2; Clontech Labs Inc, Palo Alto, Calif). The program generates a color schematic comparison view and numeric data in a tabular format for further analysis. Results. The ratio values that are considered significant (< 0.5 or > 1.5) suggest that genes up-regulated in parathyroid adenoma are those responsible for angiogenesis and production of blood vessels. Genes down-regulated in parathyroid adenoma and expressed in hyperplasia are related to a decrease in apoptosis. Moreover, an interesting gene expressed only in the hyperplasia sample is increased in relation to in vivo proliferation activities. Conclusions. Parathyroid hyperplasia and adenoma are different physiologic conditions. Further analysis of kinase genes involved in angiogenesis and apoptosis will enable design of a chip that concentrates in the different key genes responsible for the transition between hyperplasia and adenoma. Identifying such genes will enable to target both diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
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