OBJECTIVE: The aim of the presented study was to perform the immunohistochemical detection of endothelial (eNOS) and inducible (iNOS) isoform of nitric oxide synthase in the adenomatous and hyperplastic parathyroid gland in relation to the apoptotic process.
DESIGN AND SETTING: Tissue samples from 12 patients with parathyroid gland adenoma (PGA) and 10 patients with secondary parathyroid gland hyperplasia (PGH) were collected during surgery at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery of The First Faculty of Medicine in Prague.
METHODS: Three-step immunoperoxidase reaction on acetone-fixed cryostat sections was performed using both polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies against eNOS and iNOS. The detection of apoptotic cells was done using antibody against cleaved caspase-3 as an apoptotic marker.
RESULTS: The immunoreactivity to eNOS antibody was observed in the endothelial lining of vessels in PGA, PGH and in the rim of normal parathyroid gland adjacent to PGA sample. Variable expression of eNOS was confirmed in arteries, arterioles, capillaries and veins in the glandular parenchyma as well as in the surrounding connective tissue. There was no iNOS immunoreactive cell detected in any examined sample. No apoptotic cells were detected.
MAIN RESULT: Our findings confirm that eNOS is regularly expressed in the vasculature of PGA and PGH.
CONCLUSION: eNOS observed in the vasculature of the enlarged parathyroid glands can serve as a factor that contributes to the viability of hypertrophic pathologic tissue. The lack of stimulating signals may be a reason for negative iNOS detection and negligible apoptotic rate.