Aim: To disclose geographic differences in genetic changes involved in gallbladder carcinogenesis between two distinct high-incidence areas of Japan and Hungary. Methods: We examined 42 cases of gallbladder carcinoma: 22 Japanese and 20 Hungarian cases. p53 mutations at exons 5 to 8 and K-ras mutations at codon 12 were tested by direct sequencing. Microsatellite instability was determined from fluorescent dye-labeled PCR amplifications of five-microsatellite markers (BAT-25, BAT-26, D2S123, D5S346, and D17S250). Results: Mutations of p53 were detected in 11 of 22 Japanese cases and 6 of 18 Hungarian cases (11/22 vs 6/18, P = 0.348). Transition at CpG sites was found in none of 11 Japanese cases and 2 of 6 Hungarian cases; the difference was marginally significant (0/11 vs 2/6, P = 0.110). K-ras mutations were detected in only one of the Hungarian cases. Eight of 19 (42.1%) Japanese cases were MSI-high (presence of novel peaks in more than one of the five loci analyzed), whereas only 1 of 15 (6.7%) Hungarian cases was MSI-high (P = 0.047). Conclusion: It appears that the p53 mutations and MSI differ in patients with gallbladder carcinoma between two distinct high-incidence areas. Geographic variation might exist in the process of gallbladder carcinogenesis.
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