OLIG2 is a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor regulating the generation of oligodendrocytes from neural progenitor cells, and the function of OLIG2 is inhibited posttranslationally through the interaction with ID2. This study aims to examine if the analysis of OLIG2 and ID2 expression in glioma tissues helps the differential diagnosis of chemosensitive oligodendroglial tumors from astrocytic tumors. Expression levels of OLIG2 and ID2 in 11 oligodendroglial and 27 astrocytic tumors were analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), real-time quantitative PCR, and immunohistochemistry. The mean expression level of OLIG2 was higher in oligodendroglial tumors than astrocytic tumors, but some astrocytic tumors showed high OLIG2 expression, indicating that OLIG2 cannot be an independent marker of oligodendroglial tumors. No significant difference was observed between ID2 expression in oligodendroglial tumors and astrocytic tumors. It was notable that OLIG2 expression was predominant over ID2 expression in oligodendroglial tumors, while ID2 expression was predominant over OLIG2 expression in astrocytic tumors. Comparative genomic hybridization revealed that gliomas with loss on chromosome 1p, which is closely associated with chemosensitivity, also showed the predominant expression of OLIG2 over ID2. These results indicate that the immunohistochemical study on the relative expression level of OLIG2 to ID2 can be a useful screening for oligodendroglial tumors.
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