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Tanimoto K. Akbar SM. Yamauchi Y. Michitaka K. Horiike N. Onji M.
Third Department of Internal Medicine, Ehime University School of Medicine, Shigenobu-Cho, Ehime 791-0295, Japan.
Metallothionein (MT), an oncofocal gene product was strongly expressed in 35%-95% of hepatocytes in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and MT-positive hepatocytes were localized mainly in the non-cancerous cirrhotic nodules but not in malignant hepatocytes. On the other hand, <10% hepatocytes showed weak staining for MT in chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis of liver. Strong expressions of MT in non-cancerous cirrhotic nodule in HCC and low expressions in liver cirrhosis without HCC indicate a relationship between malignant transformation of hepatocytes and the expression of MT.