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Differences in mitotic activity may explain observed differences in HIF-1 alpha response in cancers and stroma

Posted by plosmedicine on 30 Mar 2009 at 23:54 GMT

Author: Khush Mittal
Position: MD
Institution: NYU School of Medicine
Submitted Date: May 10, 2006
Published Date: May 18, 2006
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

I read this paper with interest. The authors found a greater hypoxia response gene expression in carcinomas than stromal cells grown in vitro, but were not sure of the underlying explanation (Discussion, line 6). The underlying explanation may be the difference in mitotic activity and hence metabolic activity between these two cell types, such that hypoxia may be present within cancer cells, although the surrounding culture media may have similar oxygen levels as the stromal cultures.

The differences in mitotic activity could also explain greater hypoxia related gene expression in clear cell carcinoma compared with chromophobe carcinoma, normal tissue or oncocytoma, as clear cell carcinomas are more active mitotically. Did the authors compare the hypoxia gene expression to mitotic activity in various tumors?

Competing interests declared: None