Expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in dysplasia of the bronchial epithelium

J Pathol. 1993 Jun;170(2):169-72. doi: 10.1002/path.1711700212.


Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is expressed in cells in the cell cycle and has been studied as a marker of proliferation in lung and other tumours. We have noted immunocytochemical differences in PCNA expression between normal and neoplastic bronchial cells. As bronchial dysplasia is considered preneoplastic, we have examined PCNA expression in this condition. PCNA staining in 47 cases of bronchial dysplasia and 32 samples of normal bronchial epithelium was compared. Of the dysplasias, three were mild, 11 moderate, and 33 severe. A significant increase in PCNA counts over normal epithelium was seen only in moderate and severe dysplasias. In dysplasia, mitotic indices showed a significant positive correlation with the percentage of PCNA-positive cells. We conclude that in moderate and severe dysplasias there is an increase in the number of cells expressing PCNA and undergoing division, indicating abnormal growth control.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Bronchi / immunology*
  • Bronchi / pathology
  • Bronchial Diseases / immunology*
  • Bronchial Diseases / pathology
  • Epithelium / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitotic Index
  • Nuclear Proteins / analysis*
  • Precancerous Conditions / immunology*
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen