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Mod Pathol. 2008 Feb;21(2):125-30. Epub 2007 Dec 14.

Podoplanin is a useful diagnostic marker for epithelioid hemangioendothelioma of the liver.

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Department of Human Pathology, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medicine, Kanazawa, Japan.


Podoplanin, which is immunoreactive to D2-40 antibody, is reportedly expressed in lymphatic vessels in non-neoplastic tissues, and also in vascular and non-vascular tumors. However, its expression in non-neoplastic and neoplastic liver tissues has not been well documented. In this study, we examined podoplanin expression in specimens from 10 normal livers and 73 cases of liver tumors: hemangioma (16 cases), epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (9 cases), angiosarcoma (4 cases), angiomyolipoma (7 cases), hepatocellular carcinoma (11 cases), intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (11 cases), and metastatic liver cancer (15 cases). We compared levels of podoplanin and other endothelial markers (CD31, CD34, and factor VIII) in liver tumors. In the normal liver, podoplanin was expressed in lymphatic endothelium, nerve fibers, and mesothelium in the hepatic capsule, but not observed in any cells within hepatic lobules. Among liver tumors, podoplanin was specifically expressed in seven of nine cases (78%) of epithelioid hemangioendothelioma but not in other hepatic tumors. The expression of CD31, CD34, and factor VIII was observed in endothelial cells in all cases of hemangioma, epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, angiosarcoma, and angiomyolipoma with one exception, a case of epithelioid hemangioendothelioma which was without CD31 expression. Interestingly, the intensity of podoplanin expression was negatively correlated with the expression of CD34 and factor VIII. In conclusion, podoplanin would be useful as a diagnostic marker for epithelioid hemangioendothelioma in liver tumors.

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