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APMIS. 1991 May;99(5):405-15.

Cytokeratins, smooth muscle actin and vimentin in human normal salivary gland and pleomorphic adenomas. Immunohistochemical studies with particular reference to myoepithelial and basal cells.

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  • 1Pathologisches Institut, Universität, München F.R. Germany.


The distribution of immunostaining in normal major salivary gland and in 12 pleomorphic adenomas was studied using monospecific monoclonal antibodies to a number of cytokeratins, including cytokeratin 14, to smooth muscle actin and vimentin. A number of these antibodies enabled a distinction to be made between structural components of the normal gland, and to relate this to the different structures of pleomorphic adenomas. In the normal gland, the luminal duct cells expressed cytokeratins 7, 8, 18 and 19. Three antibodies were of particular value for the characterization of normal myoepithelial and basal cells; while the antibody to smooth muscle actin and the cytokeratin antibody Ks8.12 mutually exclusively stained the myoepithelial (basket) cells and the basal duct (light) cells, respectively, the recently established monospecific antibodies to cytokeratin 14 showed specific immunostaining with both cell types. These three antibodies left luminal cells virtually unstained. Ck 13 was found occasionally in single luminal excretory duct cells. Antibodies to cytokeratins 1/2, 10 and 10/11 did not show any staining in the normal gland. In the pleomorphic adenomas, the staining pattern of the two-layered tubular formation resembled that of the normal gland ducts: tumour luminal cells showed the characteristic, although more irregular, expression of cytokeratins 7, 8, 18 and 19; the outer cells resembled normal ductal basal cells with their anti-cytokeratin 14/Ks8.12-epitope staining and in that they virtually lacked staining for smooth muscle actin. Trabecular formations and cells in myxoid areas were reactive with Ks8.12 and for cytokeratin 14, occasionally also for cytokeratins 7, 18 and 19. Epidermoid cell islets expressed mainly cytokeratin 14 and inconsistently the squamous epithelial cytokeratin 13 and the epidermal cytokeratin 10/11. Vimentin was found in cells of myxoid areas. The results support the postulate that some of the normal duct basal cells act as reserve cells and can give rise to tumour formation with a primitive myxoid or trabecular pattern and a more differentiated tubular or epidermoid configuration.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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