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Am J Dermatopathol. 2011 Feb;33(1):60-4. doi: 10.1097/DAD.0b013e3181e07891.

Differentiation and apoptosis in pilomatrixoma.

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Department of Pathology, Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


We carried out a histopathologic study of pilomatrixoma, a benign skin tumor, and also examined apoptosis and hair differentiation with the aim to understand the presence of amorphous debris and cyst formation in the tumor. Among 16 cases of pilomatrixoma examined, 11 were at the early regressive stage and 5 were at the late regressive stage according to the classification by Kaddu et al. In the former cases, tumor nests were basically composed of basophilic, transitional, and shadow cells. Cyst formation was evident in all cases and squamoid epithelium was observed in 4 cases at the early regressive stage. Amorphous debris was found in all cases including those at the late regressive stage. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed positive reaction products for β-catenin and Lef-1 in basophilic and transitional cells, although their distribution differed. Immunoreactivity for β-catenin was observed in the lower transitional cells, whereas immunoreactivity for Lef-1 was also evident in the upper transitional cells. Positive reactions for hair keratins were found in the cytoplasm of transitional and shadow cells, but not in the amorphous debris. Examination by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end-labeling (TUNEL) method revealed positive reactions in transitional and some shadow cells. These results suggest that in pilomatrixoma, production of hair keratin and induction of apoptosis may occur at the same time, and that unlike the normal hair follicle irregular expression of β-catenin and Lef-1 results in the appearance of amorphous debris and cyst formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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