Experimental oral carcinoma of the tongue and buccal mucosa: Possible biologic markers linked to cancers at two anatomic sites

J. L. Schwartz, X. Gu, R. A. Kittles, A. Baptiste, G. Shklar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The application of the carcinogen 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) can initiate and promote the development of oral squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue and buccal mucosa. In this study the level of expression of various markers related to the development of programmed cell death (PCD) in the respective oral carcinomas was analyzed. Sixteen male and female Syrian hamsters (Mesocrietus auratus) were treated with 0.05% DMBA for 16 weeks. Immunohistochemistry was used to observe the expression of p53, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), Bcl-2, and nucleosome formation. Single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) for exons 2-9 and sequence analysis of exon 9 of the p53 gene from normal buccal or tongue mucosa as well as the squamous cell carcinomas from the buccal mucosa or the tongue were determined. p53 (wild type) expression was significantly reduced in the tongue dysplastic mucosa or squamous cell carcinoma. The SSCP disclosed banding shifts or new bands in exons 2/3, 4, 8, and 9 for the tongue or buccal oral carcinomas (five of each). In exon 9 the mutation in codon 307 (ala)GCC-GTC(val) was present in the tongue but not in the buccal carcinoma. Other markers included the level of PCNA. PCNA was initially lower in the premalignant tongue lesions but increased in oral squamous cell carcinoma at both sites. In contrast, the amount of nucleosome formation in the tongue carcinomas was less than the level noted for buccal cancers but premalignant dysplasias in the tongue mucosa exhibited higher levels. The inhibitor of PCD, Bcl-2 was lower for dysplasias and carcinomas of the tongue compared to similar lesions of the buccal mucosa. These results indicate that oral carcinomas of different anatomical sites can exhibit differences in growth, oncogene mutation expression, and the development of PCD. The differences in Bcl-2 and nucleosome formation may signify their influence on oncogene expression and growth potential for developing transformed clones and established oral carcinomas. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-235
Number of pages11
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • Bcl-2
  • Oral carcinoma
  • Programmed cell death
  • Proliferation
  • p53 Mutations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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