bcl-2 overexpression in synovial sarcomas has been recently reported. Although it is widely known that bcl-2 suppresses apoptosis in various cells, there are no studies that have examined the significance of apoptosis in synovial sarcoma. In the present study, we visualized apoptotic tumor cells by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate in situ nick end-labeling (TUNEL) method in 49 cases of primary synovial sarcoma. The degree of apoptosis was analyzed in relation to several clinicopathologic parameters, cell proliferative activity, and immunohistochemical expression of apoptosis-related proteins, including bcl- 2, bax, bcl-x, bak, p53, p21 (WAF1/CIP1), Fas, and Fas ligand. TUNEL index (TUNEL-I) significantly correlated with the mitotic index (MI) (n = 0.60, P < .0001) and Ki-67 labeling index (MIB1-I) (n = 0.52, P = 0.0005). There was a highly significant association between high TUNEL-I value (>.8%) and poor prognosis (log-rank test; P < .0001). Many synovial sarcomas were diffusely positive for bcl-2 family proteins (bcl-2, bax, bcl-x, and bak) and were negative or only sporadically positive for Fas, Fas ligand, p53, and p21 (WAF1/CIP1) proteins. The results indicated that increased rate of apoptosis in primary synovial sarcoma was considered to be an indicator of poor prognosis. In addition, apoptosis in synodal sarcoma may be controlled by multiple apoptosis-regulating mechanisms, including the bcl-2 family.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine