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In view of their reported reciprocal effects on apoptosis, the expression of p53 and bcl-2 proteins was studied in 46 cases of Hodgkin's disease by immunocytochemical labeling. We found p53 protein in Reed-Sternberg cells and their mononuclear variants in 16 of the 46 cases (34.7%) of Hodgkin's disease, mainly in a nuclear pattern. This restricted expression on Reed-Sternberg cells and variants supports their neoplastic nature. This overexpression of p53 protein in one third of Hodgkin's disease cases is similar to that seen in many other human malignancies. bcl-2 protein was present in mantle zone B cells and scattered T cells in all cases, and in 17 cases (37.7%) of Hodgkin's disease in Reed-Sternberg cells and their mononuclear variants. Six cases coexpressed both proteins, whereas in 18 cases neither was identified. There is no apparent relationship between p53 and bcl-2 protein expression, and on the basis of the present results there is no reason to suppose that they have any particular complementary effects on the neoplastic transformation in Hodgkin's disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Clin Pathol

Publication Date





663 - 667


Antibodies, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Gene Expression, Hodgkin Disease, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Protein-Tyrosine Kinases, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53