Published online Aug 15, 2003. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v9.i8.1859
Revised: April 23, 2003
Accepted: May 11, 2003
Published online: August 15, 2003
AIM: To study the expression and significance of telomerase activity and oxidative stress in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with cirrhosis.
METHODS: In this study, TRAP-ELISA assay was used to determine telomerase activity in 21 cases of HCC as well as in 23 cases of hepatic cirrhosis. Malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and total anti-oxidative capacity (T-AOC) were also examined in the same samples with human MDA, GST and T-AOC kits.
RESULTS: Eighteen of 21 cases of HCC were found to have increased telomerase activity, whereas only three of the 23 non-cancerous cirrhotic samples were found to have weak telomerase activity, and the difference was significant (P < 0.001). No significant difference in telomerase activity was detected according to different tumor size, tumor stage, histological grade, HBsAg, contents of albumin, bilirubin, ALT, AFP, r-GT and platelet. There were significant differences between HCC and cirrhosis in the expression of MDA, GST and T-AOC respectively. Telomerase activity correlated positively with the content of MDA (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Telomerase activation is the early event of carcinogenesis, which is not correlated with clinicopathological factors of HCC. The dysfunction of the anti-oxidative system is closely correlated with the progression from cirrhosis to hepatocellular carcinoma. Oxidative stress may contribute partly to telomerase activation.