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J Cutan Pathol. 1994 Oct;21(5):424-9.

Increased tenascin expression in melanocytic tumors.

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Department of Pathology, University of Oulu, Finland.


Tenascin is a large extracellular matrix glycoprotein which is widely distributed in normal, hyperplastic and neoplastic tissues. Its function is unknown but it has been associated with the epithelial-stromal interactions, such as cell adhesion and movement which take place, e.g. in morphogenesis, cellular proliferation and neoplasia. In this study, we investigated tenascin expression in 70 benign, dysplastic and malignant melanocytic tumors by using immunohistochemistry and monoclonal anti-tenascin 143DB7C8 antibody on paraffin sections. In all types of benign nevi, both intradermal, compound and junctional, there was a moderate expression of tenascin at the dermoepidermal junction and in the papillary dermis. In dysplastic nevi, the fibrotic areas in the papillary dermis also showed a moderate staining for tenascin. Invasive malignant melanomas showed the strongest expression of tenascin. In addition to the staining at the dermo-epidermal junction and in the papillary dermis, there was a variable expression of tenascin in the reticular dermis. Intracytoplasmic tenascin was detected both in primary melanomas and melanoma metastases. In conclusion, we have shown that tenascin expression is moderately increased in benign and dysplastic melanocytic tumors and greatly increased in malignant melanomas and melanoma metastases. The function of tenascin may be related to the cellular-stromal interactions and it is possibly associated with the proliferation and spread of the melanocytic tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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