Proliferative activity in squamous intraepithelial and invasive lesions of cervix: analysis by AgNOR staining

Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2003 Oct;46(4):573-5.


Proliferation potential of squamous intraepithelial lesions of cervix is the main factor affecting the biological aggressiveness of the lesion. The present study was aimed at assessing the proliferation in preinvasive and invasive squamous epithelial lesions of cervix using a simple and inexpensive proliferation marker: AgNOR (Argyrophilic nucleolar organizer regions). Fifty biopsy sections of various grades of preinvasive and invasive squamous epithelial lesions of cervix were taken for AgNOR staining. Single step staining technique using gelatin in formic acid solution was employed. Counting was done with the help of 'CAMERA LUCIDA' drawings. AgNOR counts/nucleus in parabasal and basal layer showed progressive rise in their mean value with increasing grade of lesion. Amongst invasive malignancies, highest mean of AgNORs/nucleus was observed in poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma of cervix. In conclusion, AgNORs can prove to be a simple inexpensive and reliable proliferation marker in lesions of cervix.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nucleolus Organizer Region / pathology
  • Silver
  • Staining and Labeling / methods
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Silver