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Am J Clin Pathol. 1989 May;91(5):515-21.

Alpha-1-antitrypsin and lysozyme. Their limited significance in fibrohistiocytic tumors.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


A wide range of tumors were immunohistochemically analyzed for alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) and lysozyme in order to evaluate their specificity as histiocytic markers and their significance in the diagnostic and histogenetic evaluation of fibrohistiocytic tumors. Besides histiocytic lesions, AAT immunoreactivity was commonly found in different types of carcinomas and sarcomas, and strong immunoreactivity was found in carcinoid tumors, malignant melanomas, and schwannomas, which, however, had negative results for lysozyme. The AAT immunoreactivity could be abolished with the absorption of the antibody with purified AAT also in nonhistiocytic tumors. The neoplastic pleomorphic cells in malignant fibrous histiocytomas (MFHs) usually had strongly positive results for AAT, whereas only entrapped histocytes had positive results for lysozyme and for two monoclonal antibodies to histomonocytic cells. The results show that AAT has a relatively low specificity as a histiocytic marker, and one should be careful in concluding the histiocytic nature of tumors, such as MFHs, based on AAT immunostaining. It seems also questionable whether AAT can be used as a diagnostic marker for MFH. The reason for the widespread AAT immunoreactivity in various tumors may be that AAT is taken up from serum to various types of nonhistiocytic tumor cells.

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