Oxidative stress in pterygium: relationship between p53 and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is known to cause oxidative DNA damage and is thought to be a major factor implicated in the pathogenesis of pterygium, a benign invasive lesion of the bulbar conjunctiva. Among all the photooxidative DNA products, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) is regarded as a sensitive and stable biomarker for evaluating the degree of DNA damage. The protein p53 is a major cell stress regulator that acts to integrate signals from a wide range of cellular stresses. UV radiation
... es. UV radiation can cause mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene that, when inactivated through mutation and loss of heterozygosity, can lead to cell proliferation and genomic instability. In many types of UV-radiation damaged cells, p53 is overexpressed and immunohistochemically detectable. Recent data on tissues exposed to factors inducing oxidative stress have provided evidence of the concomitant presence of increased levels of 8-OHdG and protein p53. To verify a possible significant association between p53 and 8-OHdG, we examined a series of 31 Ecuadorian pterygia for the expression of the two markers. Moreover, we evaluated if clinical variables such as patient's age, gender, geographic location, and disease stage, might play a role affecting the 8-OHdG and p53 immunohistochemical staining results. Primary pterygium samples were treated for immunohistochemical evaluations of 8-OHdG and p53 protein. Mouse monoclonal antibodies to 8-OHdG and p53 were used. Statistical analyses were performed using the SPSS 12 statistical software package. In our study, 21 (67.74%) pterygial samples were positive for 8-OHdG staining, 11 (35.48%) specimens were positive for p53 expression, and all negative control samples showed no staining. The staining for 8-OHdG was limited to the nuclei of the epithelial layer. No substantial staining was visible in the subepithelial fibrovascular layers. No differences in the pattern of staining between 8-OHdG and p53 were observed. All samples positive for p53 (11/31, 35.48%) were also positive for 8-OHdG immunostaining, and all specimens negative for 8-OHdG (10/31, 32.26%) were also negative for p53. When analyzed by Fisher's exact test, 8-OHdG expression was significantly associated with p53 positivity (p=0.0049). Student's t-test demonstrated statistically significant association between the expression of p53 and age (p=0.02). The correlation between the two markers and the other clinical variables revealed no statistically significant association. Although pterygium is a lesion with limited local invasion and an inability to metastasize, the concomitant presence of altered p53 in 8-OHdG-immunoreactive cells could provide evidence of apparent genetic instability, which is in contrast to its benign clinical course.