Bcl-2 and bax are two members of the BCL-2 gene family that play a prominent role in the regulation of apoptosis. Bax and bcl-2 expression were examined immunohistochemically in normal (healthy) feline skin and in 24 benign feline cutaneous basal cell tumours. The tumours were also examined for cellular proliferation by measurement of reactivity for the proliferation marker Ki-67, and for apoptosis by in-situ labelling for fragmented DNA. Bcl-2 was detected in normal basal epithelium and in 23 of 24 basal cell tumours. Bax was detected in both basal and suprabasal epithelium, but in only seven of 24 tumours. For tumours that expressed both bax and bcl-2, the bax:bcl-2 ratio was low. Neither bax nor bcl-2 expression was detected in 14 feline cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas. Basal cell tumours showed modest cellular proliferation (median, 17.5% Ki-67- reactive cells), but few (less than 1%) apoptotic cells. The slow, indolent growth of feline cutaneous basal cells in these benign skin tumours may be a response, at least in part, to opposing regulatory expression of bcl-2 and bax.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology