Background: Neuroblastoma, one of the common tumors in children, possesses the feature of natural regression that might be related to apoptosis caspase-3 and survivin are believed to respectively induce and inhibit apoptosis. We investigated the expression of caspase-3 and survivin in pediatric neuroblastoma and the role that these genes played in apoptosis.
Methods: The expression of caspase-3 and survivin in pediatric neuroblastoma tissue samples was detected using in situ hybridization, ter mintuesal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL), and immunohistochemical staining. The role that these genes played in apoptosis was then evaluated.
Results: A converse correlation was observed between the expression of survivin and caspase-3. When survivin was expressed at high levels in neuroblastoma samples, caspase-3 expression was downregulated, and the apoptotic index decreased simultaneously.
Conclusion: There is a converse correlation between the expression of caspase-3 and the expression of survivin in neuroblastoma cells, indicating that caspase-3 might induce apoptosis, and survivin may inhibit this process.