SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

The production of a mouse monoclonal antibody, Ki-67, is described. The Ki-67 antibody recognized a nuclear antigen present in proliferating cells, but absent in resting cells. Immunostainings with Ki-67 revealed nuclear reactivity in cells of germinal centres of cortical follicles, cortical thymocytes, neck cells of gastrointestinal mucosa, un-differentiated spermatogonia and cells of a number of human cell lines. The Ki-67 antibody did not react with cells known to be in a resting stage, such as lymphocytes, monocytes, parietal cells and Paneth's cells of gastrointestinal mucosa, hepatocytes, renal cells, mature sperm cells, brain cells, etc. Expression of the antigen recognized by Ki-67 could be induced in peripheral blood lymphocytes after stimulation with phytohaemagglutinin, whereas it disappeared from HL-60 cells stimulated with phorbol esters to differentiate into mature macrophages in a resting stage. These findings suggest that Ki-67 is directed against a nuclear antigen associated with cell proliferation. A first series of immunostainings of tumour biopsies indicated that Ki-67 may be a potent tool for easy and quick evaluation of the proportion of proliferating cells in a tumour.