Alpha 1-antichymotrypsin production in PSA-producing cells is common in prostate cancer but rare in benign prostatic hyperplasia

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OBJECTIVE. To investigate the distribution and production of alpha 1-antichymotrypsin (ACT) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in benign hyperplastic and malignant prostatic tissue, respectively. METHODS. Using monoclonal anti-ACT and anti-PSA IgGs for immunocytochemistry and alkaline phosphatase conjugated 30-mer oligodeoxynucleotide probes for nonradioactive in situ hybridization, tissue specimens were studied from 15 patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia after transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and from 9 patients with bladder cancer who underwent cystoprostatectomy. Cancer specimens were from 23 TURP patients and from ultrasound guided core biopsies in 14 patients. Prostate tumors were graded according to the Gleason system. RESULTS. We found no or only occasional small foci of immunostaining for ACT, and no ACT transcripts in the PSA-producing epithelium in areas with benign nodular hyperplasia. By contrast, a high proportion of cells expressed both ACT and PSA in prostate cancers with low Gleason score, as detected by immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization. Poorly differentiated tumor cells manifested greater variation in immunostaining for both ACT and PSA. As compared to tumors of low Gleason score, high-score tumors less frequently manifested immunostaining for ACT than for PSA, and less frequently generated hybridization signals for both PSA and ACT transcripts. CONCLUSIONS. A significantly higher proportion of serum PSA has been reported to be complexed to ACT in patients with prostate cancer than in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. The presently reported lack of ACT production in PSA-containing BPH nodules may contribute to this by making conditions less optimal for complex formation between PSA and ACT. As opposed to this, production of both ACT and PSA in prostate cancers may enhance the complex formation between PSA and ACT.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Urology and Nephrology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-434
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Publication categoryResearch