Importance of interphase nucleolar organizer regions in tumor pathology

Virchows Arch B Cell Pathol Incl Mol Pathol. 1991;61(1):1-8. doi: 10.1007/BF02890399.


The importance of the distribution of silver-stained nucleolar organizer regions (Ag-NORs) in interphase nuclei for diagnostic and prognostic purposes in tumor pathology has been reviewed. The available data demonstrated that interphase Ag-NOR evaluation may be of help in distinguishing malignant from hyperplastic or normal cells. On the other hand, there is increasing evidence that a relationship exists between the quantity of interphase Ag-NORs and the prognosis of malignant tumors: the greater the number of interphase Ag-NORs, the worse is the prognosis. This can be explained by the observation that the interphase Ag-NOR quantity is strictly related to the cell proliferation rate. The procedures used for the measurement of the interphase Ag-NOR quantity are also critically discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division
  • Interphase
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Nucleolus Organizer Region / ultrastructure*
  • Prognosis