Evaluation of telomerase activity in nasal polyps.

Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
American Journal of Rhinology (Impact Factor: 1.36). 07/2004; 18(4):197-201.
Source: PubMed


The objective of this study was to assess if nasal polyps express telomerase activity and whether a difference could be found between the polyp and the surrounding mucosa of the middle meatus and between different portions of the polyp itself
Nine patients affected by nasal polyposis were included in this study; four of these patients had recurring polyposis. Telomerase activity was measured by telomeric repeat amplification protocol assay. In six patients, the telomeric repeat amplification protocol assay was performed on the polyp and on the mucosa from the ipsilateral middle meatus. In a polyp, we were able to investigate telomerase activity of its different portions, corresponding to pedicle and fundus.
Telomerase activity observed in nasal polyps was higher than that observed in samples from the ipsilateral middle meatus mucosa. High or intermediate telomerase activity was found to be related to predominant recurring polyposis.
Therefore, it could be postulated that telomerase activity could be related with the tendency of polyps to recur.

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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the presence and location of telomerase activities and the possible influence of elevated human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) mRNA levels on the outcome after surgical treatment in nasal polyposis. Telomerase activity in nasal polyps of 21 patients was quantified by measuring the hTERT mRNA contents with one-step real-time polymerase chain reaction. Inferior turbinates of 12 patients served as controls. Immunohistochemistry with specific antibodies was performed against hTERT. The number of hTERT marked cells was determined in 15 randomly selected fields. All patients were followed up after surgery for 60 months. Elevated hTERT mRNA expression and number of hTERT+ cells was detected in nasal polyps in comparison with inferior turbinates (p < 0.001). hTERT+ cells were detected in the basal layer of the epithelia, the endothelia, and in some seromucous glands. During follow-up, it was discovered that tissue samples of five patients with recurrent polyposis did not have higher amounts of hTERT when compared with patients without relapse. Telomerase activity is elevated in nasal polyps. Elevated hTERT expression does not predict the recurrence of nasal polyposis after surgical treatment.
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