mRNA in situ hybridization has provided important information in the various fields of biology and medicine but it is not easy to incorporate the technique to diagnostic pathology laboratories, compared to immunohistochemistry. The technique is relatively cumbersome and time-consuming and it is important for pathologists to determine in what situations mRNA in situ hybridization can provide important information in surgical pathology materials. Biological significance of mRNA in situ hybridization employing surgical pathology materials are summarized as follows; i) determine whether immunoreactivity observed by conventional immunohistochemistry represent the gene products produced, stored or bound to receptor, ii) study the localization of the gene products with rapid intracellular half-life, iii) examine the localization of expression when DNA sequences are known but no reliable antibodies are available for immunohistochemistry. and iv) analyze the expression at mRNA and protein levels if there are discrepancies between these two levels of expression. Surgical pathologists should consider these aspects above prior to performing and/or ordering mRNA in situ hybridization. Prompt fixation is also important for specimen preparation regardless of fixatives employed. Choice of the probes and detection methods may influence the results but it is important for pathologists to determine the most appropriate methods in his or her own laboratories based on the facility and budget. In general, the preservation of mRNA in tissue specimen and sensitivity of detection systems largely influence the results of mRNA in situ hybridization on surgical pathology materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology