This study retrospectively evaluates bcl-2 and bcl-x immunostaining in paraffin-embedded materials in gangliogliomas. Twenty-nine gangliogliomas in 17 males and 12 females, age 2.5 to 47 years (mean, 20.7 years), were studied.
Nineteen tumors were situated primarily in the temporal lobe.
All but three patients presented with seizures ranging from 3 months to 28 years' duration (mean, 11.1 years) before surgery.
All tumors histologically were comprised of an atypical neuronal component and a glioma component, which most frequently resembled a low-grade astrocytoma.
Cortical dysplasia was observed adjacent to eight tumors. MIB-1 (marker of cell proliferation) labeling indices (percentage of positively staining tumor cell nuclei) ranged from 0 to 7.7 (mean, 0.8). bcl-2 staining was observed in 25 tumors (86%); neuronal staining was present in 24 cases (83%), and glial cell staining in 21 tumors (72%). Bcl-xL staining was only observed in eight gangliogliomas (28%); in all eight tumors (28%), neuronal staining was seen, and focal glial cell staining was present in two cases (7%). Four tumors (14%) did not stain with either bcl-2 or bcl-xL. There appeared to be no relationship between MIB-1 immunostaining and staining with bcl-2 or bcl-xL. bcl-2 expression by immunohistochemistry was observed more frequently than bcl-xL in gangliogliomas.
Expression of these proteins may reflect abnormalities of apoptosis, which could play a role in the survival of cells that may be involved in the development of gangliogliomas.