Detection of the M30 Neoepitope as a New Tool to Quantify Liver Apoptosis: Timing and Patterns of Positivity on Frozen and Paraffin-Embedded Sections

Alberto Grassi, Micaela Susca, Silvia Ferri, Elena Gabusi, Antonia D'Errico, Gabriele Farina, Silvana Maccariello, Daniela Zauli, Francesco B. Bianchi, Giorgio Ballardini

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One of the first stages of apoptosis is cytokeratin cleavage mediated by caspases, which is associated with the expression of a neoepitope, the cleavage site of cytokeratin 18, identifiable by the M30 monoclonal antibody. The aim of this study was to evaluate the timing of neoantigen expression and its modifications in the various morphologic stages of apoptosis on frozen and paraffin-embedded sections from liver biopsies of patients with chronic hepatitis or transplanted liver. The appearance of this neoepitope coincides with the gradual disappearance of cytokeratins, with the appearance of nuclear DNA fragmentation, and with the presence of Councilman bodies. The staining patterns on paraffin-embedded sections of liver specimens were similar to those found in frozen sections, with a reduced sensitivity. The M30 antibody is correlated with apoptosis, and its specificity for epithelial cells makes this method the first choice for routine evaluation of apoptosis in liver epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004



  • Apoptosis
  • Councilman body
  • Liver disease
  • M30
  • Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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