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Telomerase activity in cervical smears

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gabriele Saretzki


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It is well known that almost all carcinoma cells including those of the uterine cervix have re-established their telomerase activity. However, until now there is no conclusive picture on the telomerase activity in cervical dysplasias and about their relationship to HPV infection. To investigate this question, material from 34 patients (15 with normal epithelium, 11 with LGSIL, 8 with HGSIL) obtained by conventional cervical brushing was used and subjected to non-radioactive TRAP-ELISA (Boehringer Mannheim). The HPV analysis was performed by PCR on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded biopsy material obtained after cytological investigation. We could show that telomerase activity is detectable in normal cervical epithelium, and that an gradual increase exists for both telomerase activity and HPV positivity from normal epithelium to HGSIL. However, HPV infection and telomerase activity appear to be independent of each other. The high frequency of telomerase positivity in patients with normal cervical epithelium indicates that telomerase activity is not a useful differential diagnostic aid. Whether patients with telomerase-positive dysplasias have a higher probability to progress into an invasive carcinoma remains to be clarified by follow-up studies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Saretzki G; Fischer H; Kaufmann IG; Schewe C; Nadjari B; Blohmer J; Hauptmann S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Analytical Cellular Pathology

Year: 2001

Volume: 23

Issue: 1

Pages: 39-43

ISSN (print): 2210-7177

ISSN (electronic): 2210-7185

Publisher: IOS Press