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J Oral Pathol Med. 1989 Aug;18(7):400-9.

Ultrastructural study of the histogenesis of salivary gland mucoepidermoid carcinoma.

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  • 1College of Dentistry, New York University.


This electronmicroscope study of the histogenesis of mucoepidermoid carcinoma is based on 15 cases from the major and minor salivary glands. Six major cell types were identified: undifferentiated (cuboid) stem cells, intermediate (columnar) cells, serous/mucoid secretory cells, mucus-producing goblet cells, squamous/epidermoid cells and myoepithelium. It is proposed that undifferentiated stem cells serve as pluripotential reserves which give rise to the various cell types seen in mucoepidermoid carcinoma. Reserve cells in the acinar-intercalated duct components of the salivary glands appeared to give rise to the serous/mucoid and myoepithelial cell populations of mucoepidermoid carcinoma. Reserve cells in the proximal ducts system (intra/extralobular striated ducts and excretory ducts) differentiated into myoepithelium, intermediate (columnar) cells, squamous/epidermoid and mucus-producing goblet cell lines. It is proposed that neoplastic reserve cells give rise to different tumor types in the salivary glands. These types result from varying admixtures and arrangements of tumor cells at different stages of their structural and functional cytodifferentiation from reserve cells. It is further proposed that neoplastic reserve cells differentiate along similar cell lines as the embryonic "stem cells" in the development of normal salivary glands.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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