Thomsen-Friedenreich (T) antigen as marker of myoepithelial and basal cells in the parotid gland, pleomorphic adenomas and adenoid cystic carcinomas. An immunohistological comparison between T and sialosyl-T antigens, alpha-smooth muscle actin and cytokeratin 14
Controversy centres on the role and identification of myoepithelial (MEC) and basal cells in salivary gland tumours, and recent studies suggest that both basal cells and myoepithelial cells participate in the formation of salivary gland tumours. We have correlated the expression of different well-known markers of normal MEC/basal cells (i.e. alpha-smooth muscle actin and cytokeratin 14) with T (Thomsen-Friedenreich) antigen and its sialylated derivative: sialosyl-T antigen,) in 17 normal parotid glands and in two tumour types with MEC participation (i.e pleomorphic adenomas (PA) and adenoid cystic carcinomas (ACC)) using immunohistology with well-defined monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). Paraffin-embedded/fresh frozen tissue sections were studied from 33/17 patients with PA and 15/7 patients with ACC. In normal parotid tissue coexpression of alpha-smooth muscle actin, cytokeratin 14, T and sialosyl-T antigens was found in all MEC and in some of the basal cells lining striated ducts. The remaining basal cells exclusively expressed cytokeratin 14, T and sialosyl-T antigens. In the tumours, cells believed to be modified myoepithelial cells showed two different staining patterns: 1) Coexpression of alpha-smooth muscle actin, cytokeratin 14, T and sialosyl-T antigens, and 2) Coexpression of cytokeratin 14, T and sialosyl-T antigens, but no alpha-smooth muscle actin. The epithelial ductular structures in the tumours showed aberrant expression of cytokeratin 14, T and sialosyl-T antigens, and cytokeratin 14 was the only marker of cells in solid undifferentiated areas of adenoid cystic carcinomas. Our study supports the view, that modified "myoepithelial" cells in the tumours consist of a mixture of basal cells and myoepithelial cells. None of the investigated structures was in itself an ideal marker in the identification of MEC/basal cells. The cells can be identified by a combination of markers (i.e. cytokeratin 14, alpha-smooth-muscle actin, T and sialosyl-T antigens).
Apmis : Acta Pathologica, Microbiologica, Et Immunologica Scandinavica, 1995, Vol 103, Issue 7-8, p. 558-67