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Analytical Cellular Pathology
Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 85-97

Correlation between p53 Status, DNA Ploidy, Proliferation Rate and Nuclear Morphology in Breast Cancer. An Image Cytometric Study

Katrin Friedrich, Volker Dimmer, Gunter Haroske, Wolfdietrich Meyer, Franz Theissig, and Klaus Dietmar Kunze

Institute of Pathology, Medical Faculty, University of Technology Dresden, Germany

Copyright © 1997 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The study was designed to detect differences in the nuclear morphology of tumours and tumour cell populations with different p53 expression in correlation with DNA ploidy and proliferation rate. The paraffin sections from routinely processed samples of 88 breast cancers were immunostained with the monoclonal p53‐antibody DO‐1. After localization and evaluation with a scoring system the sections were destained and stained by the Feulgen method. The nuclei were relocated automatically and measured by means of the image cytometry workstation. Significant differences between the tumours and tumour cell populations with different p53 expression were found in the euploid tumours as well as in the aneuploid tumours and in the breast cancers with a high proliferation rate. The breast cancers with a low immunoreactive score (IRS 1–4) differ from the negative cancers as well as from the cancers with a higher immunoreactive score (IRS 5–12). Evaluating the nuclear populations of the p53 positive cancers, there were differences in the features of the chromatin amount and distribution in the groups of the euploid breast cancers and in cancer with a high proliferation rate. In contrast, the nuclear populations of the aneuploid cancers did not show any differences in their nuclear morphology.

The results showed the different impacts of the p53 expression, DNA ploidy and the proliferation rate on the nuclear morphology in breast cancer.