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Am J Dermatopathol. 1999 Apr;21(2):115-20.

Cyclin D1 overexpression in Spitz nevi: an immunohistochemical study.

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  • 1Division of Pathology, Nagoya University Hospital, Japan.

Abstract

The morphologic distinction between Spitz nevus and malignant melanoma can be difficult. Because cyclin D1 has been reported to be overexpressed in malignant melanomas, but not in common acquired nevi, we hypothesized that cyclin D1 might be a useful marker to distinguish Spitz nevi from malignant melanoma. Thus, we assessed for cyclin D1 expression in 11 Spitz nevi (10 compound and 1 intradermal) and 9 malignant melanomas (4 Clark stages I-III and 5 Clark stages IV-V) using an immunohistochemical method and routinely fixed and processed tissues. The cyclin D1 results were arbitrarily divided into three groups: 0% to 10%, >10% to 25%, and >25%. We confirmed the observations reported previously by others that cyclin D1 is expressed in malignant melanomas but not in common acquired nevi. Unexpectedly, a relatively high number of cyclin D1-positive cells (i.e., >10%) was also found in all cases of Spitz nevus. However, unlike malignant melanoma, the cyclin D1 positivity in Spitz nevi was present in a zonal pattern. In other words, the number of cyclin D1-positive cells decreased as the lesion extended more deeply, with the number of positive cells in the reticular dermis being less than that in the papillary dermis. Fluorescence in situ hybridization methods were used to assess amplification of 11q13, the locus harboring the cyclin D1 gene, in four cases of Spitz nevus; all were disomic. Using the antibody MIB-1, we compared cyclin D1 expression to the proliferation rate in Spitz nevi. Despite the high cyclin D1 positivity, all Spitz nevi had a relatively low number of MIB-1-positive cells (mean=3.2%), which was significantly lower than that of malignant melanomas (mean=15.3%) (p < 0.001). Thus, unlike malignant melanoma, there appears to be a dissociation between cyclin D1 overexpression and cell proliferation in Spitz nevi.

PMID:
10218669
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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