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Fas antigen (ag) is a cell surface protein known to trigger apoptosis in a variety of cells upon specific antibody binding. On the other hand, Bcl-2 protein, an oncogene product located at the mitochondrial inner surface, prolongs cell survival by blocking apoptosis. In this study we examined the expression of Fas ag and bcl-2 protein in 17 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to determine their role on HCC. By flow cytometric analysis, mean (SD) value of the expression of Fas ag on hepatocytes derived from normal liver, diseased liver (chronic hepatitis or liver cirrhosis) and HCC was 5.8 (4.7)%, 10.3 (6.9)%, and 24.0 (18.2)%, respectively. Fas ag expression on hepatoma cells was significantly greater than normal and diseased liver cells. The expression of Bcl-2 protein in normal liver, diseased liver and HCC was 4.3 (8.5)%, 0.8 (2.5)% and 2.1 (3.4)%, respectively, and the difference was not significant. These results suggest that induction of apoptosis may be a possible therapy against HCC.
Acta Medica Okayama
Okayama University Medical School
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