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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Helena Rodrigues, Maria Isabel Carvalho, Isabel Pires, Justina Prada, and Felisbina L. Queiroga

Fifty canine mammary gland tumours (CMGT) (18 benign and 32 malignant) were studied by immunohistochemical detection of active caspase-3 and Ki-67 antigens in order to determine their association with several clinicopathological parameters. The percentage of caspase-3 positive cells was significantly higher in benign tumours as compared to their malignant counterparts (P ≤ 0.001). In the group of malignant tumours there was no significant association between active caspase-3 and the clinicopathological variables considered. The percentage of Ki- 67 positive cells was significantly higher in malignant tumours compared to the benign ones (P ≤ 0.001). In the group of malignant tumours, Ki-67 expression showed a statistically significant association with tumour size (P = 0.025), histological type (P = 0.010), mitotic grade (P ≤ 0.001), nuclear grade (P = 0.025), differentiation grade (P = 0.004), histological grade of malignancy (P = 0.002), and presence of metastases in regional lymph nodes (P = 0.025). Furthermore, this study revealed a negative correlation between the percentages of active caspase-3 and Ki-67 (r = –0.39; P = 0.04). Thus, our results suggest a loss of balance between cell death and cell division in CMGT. Key words: Apoptosis, caspase-3, Ki

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