Bromodeoxyuridine, an analogue of thymidine, can be detected by means of monoclonal antibodies and utilized as a marker of the S-phase of the cell cycle. In vitro immunohistochemical application of the BrdU/anti-BrdU-MAb method permits a quantitative assessment of the proliferative activity of a tissue as well as the direct location of the actively replicating cells in histological sections. In this paper, a method for the detection of the labeling index of S-phase cells in normal and neoplastic tissues with in vitro BrdU labeling and standard immunohistochemical techniques using anti-BrdU-MAb and avidin-biotin peroxidase complex is described. We have employed this method in 47 human solid tumor samples, including squamous cell carcinomas of head and neck and cervix uteri, adenocarcinomas and malignant lymphomas, and also evaluated the possible application of the BrdU labeling index to estimate the cycling S-phase cells in neoplastic cell populations. In our data, the in vitro labeling index varied greatly in an individual case (3.56-29.2%) and from an area to an area within the same case. Squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck showed higher LI than those of the cervix uteri. A case of metastatic carcinoma to the lung from ductal carcinoma of the breast had the highest LI (29.2%), in contrast to the low LI (3.6%) in the primary ductal carcinoma of breast
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