Proliferating cell nuclear antigen and Ki-67 immunohistochemistry in brain tumors: a comparative study

Acta Neuropathol. 1991;81(6):675-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00296379.


Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is a 36-kDa DNA polymerase-delta auxiliary protein which accumulates in the nucleus during S phase of the cell cycle. Immunohistochemical labeling indices (LI) of PCNA and Ki-67 were compared using an avidin-biotin complex method on frozen sections of 27 nervous system tumors. 3 normal cerebral cortices, and 3 peripheral nerves. In glial tumors, PCNA and Ki-67 LI increased with increasing tumor grade (Daumas-Duport system). In 5 low-grade glial tumors, PCNA and Ki-67 LI were less than or equal to 1%, except for one optic nerve glioma (Ki-67 LI = 6%). In 7 grade 3 astrocytomas and 1 mixed glioma, PCNA LI were less than or equal to 1-1.5%, while Ki-67 LI were 2%-10%. In 7 grade 4 astrocytomas and 1 metastatic carcinoma, PCNA LI ranged from 6%-15% while Ki-67 LI ranged from 17%-30%. In 5 of 6 schwannomas, focally high PCNA LI (4%-65%) were noted, despite low LI with Ki-67 (less than or equal to 1.6%). Scattered normal schwann cell nuclei also stained with PCNA, but normal cerebral cortex did not.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Cell Nucleus / immunology
  • Cerebral Cortex / immunology
  • Glioma / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Nuclear Proteins / immunology*
  • Peripheral Nerves / immunology
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / immunology


  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen