Telomere lengths in the oral epithelia with and without carcinoma

Eur J Cancer. 2010 Jan;46(2):430-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2009.10.018. Epub 2009 Nov 10.


Aging appears to be intrinsically related to carcinogenesis. Genomic instability due to telomere shortening plays an important role in carcinoma development. In order to clarify telomere dysfunction in carcinoma development, we examined the uninvolved epithelium adjacent to carcinoma in situ (CIS), i.e. background of CIS, and CIS itself, compared to control without carcinoma, using an improved quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH) method. We also estimated anaphase bridge (AB), which is inferred to be related to chromosomal instability. In all cell types (basal, parabasal, and suprabasal), mean telomere lengths were significantly shorter in the background than in the control. We also demonstrated increased incidences of AB, not only in CIS, but also in the background and control epithelia with excessively shortened telomeres. Thus we have conclusively demonstrated that CIS arises from epithelium with short telomeres.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma in Situ / genetics
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chromosomal Instability / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Mucosa / metabolism
  • Telomere / pathology*
  • Tongue Neoplasms / genetics
  • Tongue Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Ki-67 Antigen