Detection of P-glycoprotein in frozen and paraffin-embedded gastric adenocarcinoma tissues using a panel of monoclonal antibodies

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Most chemotherapeutic regimens used against gastric carcinoma include anthracyclines whose effectiveness can be impaired by the presence of P-glycoprotein. In order to obtain a reliable pattern of P-glycoprotein expression in these tumours an immunohistochemical study using a panel of anti-P-glycoprotein antibodies was performed in frozen and paraffinized tissues.

Methods and results:

Frozen and paraffinized samples from 25 gastric carcinomas were immunohistochemically analysed using a panel of four anti-P-glycoprotein monoclonal antibodies including C219, MRK16, JSB-1 and C494. Semiquantitative analysis indicated that moderate or high P-glycoprotein levels were detected in 40% to 76% of gastric adenocarcinomas, depending on the anti-P-glycoprotein antibody used. The antibody C494 was the most sensitive in detecting P-glycoprotein in both frozen and paraffinized gastric carcinoma samples. Moreover, C494 showed a pattern of staining exclusively associated with the plasma membrane, in contrast to the cytoplasmic with reinforcement of plasma membrane pattern displayed by the other three antibodies. Significant differences in P-glycoprotein levels were obtained when C494 and MRK16 were used in frozen tissues. Finally, detection of P-glycoprotein in frozen samples did not improve when compared to paraffinized ones.


It appears that P-glycoprotein is frequently expressed in gastric adenocarcinomas, and the use of C494 complemented by JSB-1 is recommended for reliable detection of P-glycoprotein in this neoplasm.

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