RNA is considered as an indicator of the dynamic genetic expression changes in a cell. RNAScope is a commercially available in situ hybridization assay for the detection of RNA in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue. In this work, we describe the use of RNAScope as a sensitive and specific method for the evaluation of c-KIT messenger RNA (mRNA) in canine mast cell tumor. We investigated the expression of c-KIT mRNA with RNAscope in 60 canine mast cell tumors (MCTs), comparing it with the histological grade and KIT immunohistochemical expression patterns. Our results showed an overall good expression of c-KIT mRNA in neoplastic cells if compared with control probes. We also observed a statistically significant correlation between histological grade and c-KIT mRNA expression. No correlations were found between KIT protein immunohistochemical distribution pattern and c-KIT mRNA expression or histological grade. Our results provide a reference basis to better understand c-KIT mRNA expression in canine MCTs and strongly encourage further studies that may provide useful information about its potential and significant role as a prognostic and predictive biological marker for canine MCTs clinical outcome.
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