Frequent expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase in esophageal squamous cell carcinomas.
Nitric oxide (NO) plays important biological roles in cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems, and is synthesized by nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Intracellular NO is known to cause DNA damage as a mutagen. We examined the expression of cytokine-inducible NOS (iNOS) in human esophageal squamous cell carcinomas. Weak iNOS immunoreactivity was seen in the basal and parabasal layers of non-neoplastic esophageal stratified squamous epithelium. iNOS expression was detected in 50 (87.7%) of the 57 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas, regardless of the depth of tumor invasion, histological differentiation and lymph node status. Early-stage cancers, i.e. mucosal squamous cell carcinomas, also showed significant iNOS expression. We speculate that increased iNOS expression is associated with the carcinogenesis of human esophageal cancer.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193, Japan.
Publication date: January 1, 1999
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