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Am J Pathol. 1986 Mar;122(3):493-9.

The expression of endothelial cell surface antigens by AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma. Evidence for a vascular endothelial cell origin.


The authors investigated 19 cases of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) obtained from patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) for their expression of Factor VIII-related antigen (FVIIIRAg), HLA-DR (Ia) antigens, OKM1, and three distinctive vascular, but not lymphatic, endothelial-cell-associated antigens, E92, OKM5, and HCl. Antigen expression was demonstrated by immunoperoxidase staining of cryostat sections. FVIIIRAg is strongly expressed by the cells lining the vascular spaces (VCs) but is absent, weakly or focally, and variably expressed by the spindle cell (SC) component of KS. The VC component of each KS lesion examined strongly expressed E92, moderately expressed HCl, and weakly expressed OKM5. In contrast, the entire SC component of each KS lesion studied strongly expressed E92 and OKM5 and weakly expressed HCl. Neither the VCs nor the SCs expressed OKM1. These studies provide strong and compelling evidence for the vascular endothelial cell histogenesis of both the vascular and spindle cell components of KS, demonstrate the intertumor and intratumor phenotypic heterogeneity of KS, and suggest that monoclonal antibodies OKM5 and anti-E92 are the best currently available immunohistochemical markers for identifying the spindle cell component of AIDS-associated KS in cryostat sections.

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