Background: Thioredoxin, NADPH, and thioredoxin reductase form the thioredoxin
system which exists in all living cells. Oxidants have a major role in cancer pathogenesis;
therefore, it is necessary to study the role of redox-active compounds such as thioredoxin
reductase to increase our knowledge about the molecular mechanisms involved in cancer
pathogenesis and ultimately design more effective treatments. The research on the role
of the thioredoxin system in pancreatic cancer is limited; hence, we intend to compare
the tissue distribution and activity of thioredoxin reductase in pancreatic cancer with
healthy tissues located at the tumor margins.
Methods: A total of 29 patients with pancreatic cancer participated in this study.
The tissue distribution was determined by immunohistochemistry analysis. We used
a commercial ELISA kit to determine enzyme activity.
Results: There was no significant difference between the tumor tissue and its
normal surrounding tissue in terms of thioredoxin reductase activity (P=0.56). However,
there was a significant difference when we considered the different disease stages. A
significant relationship also existed between the staining intensity of thioredoxin
reductase and disease stage (P=0.022).
Conclusion: There was no observed difference between the pancreatic cancer
tissue and its healthy margin in terms of thioredoxin reductase activity and tissue
distribution. This finding did not support its possible role in pancreatic cancer