Molecular detection of dopamine decarboxylase expression by means of reverse transcriptase and polymerase chain reaction in bone marrow and peripheral blood: Utility as a tumor marker for neuroblastoma

Fabio Bozzi, Roberto Luksch, Paola Collini, Felicita Gambirasio, Elena Barzanò, Daniela Polastri, Marta Podda, Bruno Brando, Franca Fossati-Bellani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A highly sensitive molecular method was used to evaluate the presence of dopamine decarboxylase (DDC) mRNA in the bone marrow and peripheral blood of patients with neuroblastoma (NB). DDC, like tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), is an enzyme involved in the catecholamine synthesis pathway and has recently been proposed as a specific marker of NB among pediatric malignancies. DDC transcript was detected in five of five NB cell lines, 10 of 10 NB primary tumors, 17 of 18 (94%) bone marrow samples, and 12 of 18 (66%) blood samples drawn at diagnosis in 18 patients affected by disseminated NB. In contrast, no PCR signal was found in 20 bone marrow samples obtained from patients with other malignancies or in eight of nine marrow and blood samples drawn from patients with localized NB (two stage 2 and seven stage 3). In addition, all marrow and blood samples obtained from NB patients at relapse revealed DDC mRNA. Furthermore, the percentage of DDC-positive samples was lower among the samples drawn from these patients during treatment. By comparison with conventional methods for disease evaluation, DDC transcript research can increase the sensitivity of NB cell detection in marrow and blood samples at diagnosis and during the treatment and follow-up of NB patients. These results suggest that finding DDC mRNA in NB patients could be a potential marker for minimal residual disease study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalDiagnostic Molecular Pathology
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004

Keywords

  • CD56
  • Dopamine decarboxylase
  • Neuroblastoma
  • RT-PCR
  • Tyrosine hydroxylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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