Objective: To study the expression of telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) and bcl-2 in ameloblastoma (AB), METHODS: hTERT mRNA in 54 cases of AB (primary AB 31 cases, recurrent AB 17 cases, malignant AB 4 cases) and 7 cases of oral normal mucosa was detected by in situ hybridization, and bcl-2 by S-P method.
Results: The expression of hTERT mRNA was negative or weak in normal oral mucosa (14.3%), moderate or strong in AB (94.4%). There was a significant difference in these two groups (P < 0.001). The difference between the expressions of hTERT in primary, recurrent and malignant AB was significant (P < 0.05). The positive ratio of bcl-2 in AB and normal oral mucosa was respectively 88.0%, 44.4%. There was a significant statistical difference in these two groups (P < 0.001). hTERT mRNA was stronger in recurred or malignantly transformed AB (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: The expression of hTERT and bcl-2 is stronger in recurred or malignantly transformed AB, and it could be used as an indicator of AB prognosis. Telomerase activity and bcl-2 expression play an important role in genesis and development of AB.