Journal of Cytology
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 223-229

Bax and Bak expression in cervical smears of women with low-and high-risk HPV types: A study of 120 cases

1 Department of Cytology, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Center of Athens "Hygeia", National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
2 Department of Virology, G Papanicolaou Research Center of Oncology and Experimental Surgery, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
3 Department of Cytology, Regional Anticancer Oncology Hospital of Athens "St. Savvas", National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
4 Department of Pathology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Correspondence Address:
Eirini Klapsinou
31 Vosporou Street, Nea Ionia, Athens - 14234
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9371.171222

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Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is known to be involved in the carcinogenesis of squamous cells in uterine cervix cancer, mostly by binding and inactivating the p53 and pRb tumor suppressor genes. Lately, evidence has emerged suggesting that HPV oncoproteins may interact with proteins involved in cellular apoptosis as well. Aim: This study aimed to investigate the expression of proapoptotic proteins Bax and Bak in women with low-risk and high-risk HPV types as opposed to HPV-negative women, and in women with normal pap smear compared to women with abnormal Papanicolau test (Pap) smear. Materials and Methods: A total of 120 liquid-based cervical samples were subtyped for HPV types with microarray hybridization and then stained and evaluated immunocytochemically for Bax and Bak expression. Statistical analysis was performed on the Bax and Bak scores (percentage of positive cells × staining intensity), the overall percentage of positive cells, and the most prevalent staining intensity group found in each sample. Results: A weak association between negative Bax staining and cytologically normal Pap smears was discovered, whereas cytologically abnormal samples tended to stain weakly or moderately positive. No other statistically significant difference was found in the other analyzed parameters. Conclusion: Cytologically normal pap smears seem to have a slight tendency to stain negative for Bax as opposed to cytologically abnormal pap smears. Although the association is weak, it is an indication that there might be a connection between the expression of Bax and the development of cervical intraepithelial dysplasia, which warrants further investigation in larger-scale studies.

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