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Am J Surg Pathol. 2001 Apr;25(4):464-71.

Microcystic adnexal carcinoma: an immunohistochemical study including markers of proliferation and apoptosis.

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Departments of Dermatology, University of Alabama-Birmingham, 35294-0009, USA.


Microcystic adnexal carcinoma (MAC) is the prototype for a subset of locally aggressive adnexal carcinomas (LAACs). Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and UVB signature p53 mutations are implicated in the etiology of the most common cutaneous carcinomas. However in MACs, the role of UVR and p53 mutations is unknown. In addition, controversy still exists regarding the patterns of differentiation within these tumors. The objective of this study was to determine the expression patterns of immunohistochemical markers for p53, Ki-67, c-erbB-2, and Bcl-2 in MACs, and to compare these patterns with two MAC histologic stimulants: sclerosing type basal cell carcinomas (sBCCs) and desmoplastic trichoepitheliomas (dTEs). Other objectives were to compare expression patterns of cytokeratin (CK) AE1/AE3, CK7, CD20, endothelial membrane antigen (EMA), Ber-EP4, CD34, alpha-smooth muscle actin (SMA), and S-100 protein in MACs with its histologic simulators, and to determine the usefulness of all the immunohistochemical studies in diagnosis. Immunohistochemical markers were performed on 10 MACs, 10 sBCCs, and four dTEs. They included p53, Ki-67, c-erbB-2, Bcl-2, CK AE1/AE3, CK7, CD20, EMA, Ber-EP4, CD34, S-100 protein, and alpha-SMA. MACs expressed p53 in less than 25% of the tumor cells in only two cases (20%), and both cases showed only moderately intense staining, whereas 80% of the sBCCs were positive and showed intense staining, and all dTEs were negative. In MACs, less than 5% of the tumor cells were Ki-67 positive, whereas the sBCCs showed 20% to 40% Ki-67-positive tumor cells and dTEs showed rare Ki-67-positive cells. Bcl-2 was expressed focally in MACs, diffusely in sBCCs, and in scattered cells in dTEs. All tumors were negative for c-erbB-2. CD34, CK7, EMA, Ber-EP4, S-100 protein, and alpha-SMA all showed a distinctive pattern of staining in MACs. Although MACs arise commonly in chronically sun-exposed skin, increased expression of p53 is not found frequently. Overexpression of c-erbB-2 does not appear to be a factor in the development and progression of these adnexal tumors. Bcl-2 is expressed in MACs, but not diffusely as in sBCCs. The low level of Ki-67 supports a low proliferative rate, and other immunohistochemical markers support divergent patterns of adnexal differentiation in MACs. Immunohistochemical studies may help to differentiate MAC from sBCCs and dTEs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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