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Mod Pathol. 2002 Jan;15(1):1-5.

Caveolin expression is common among benign and malignant smooth muscle and adipocyte neoplasms.

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Department of Pathology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.


The caveolins belong to a newly described group of membrane-scaffolding proteins. Their presence in benign endothelial cells has been used to discriminate benign from malignant vascular neoplasms. The extent of caveolin expression in cutaneous mesenchymal neoplasms has not yet been evaluated, and thus the diagnostic utility of these antibodies is not yet known. In our study, we immunohistochemically examined a spectrum of tumors derived from smooth muscle and adipocytes for caveolin expression. We found that both benign and malignant smooth muscle tumors and tumors comprised of adipocytes expressed caveolins. The presence of this protein in a range of mesenchymal neoplasms is important to know about as this decreases the reported specificity of a positive finding. It is doubtful that caveolin down-regulation contributes to the pathogenesis of liposarcomas and leiomyosarcomas. This finding also may suggest a common origin between endothelial cells and other mesenchymal cells.

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