Distribution of cytoskeletal and contractile proteins in normal and tumour bearing salivary and lacrimal glands


We have evaluated by means of immunocytochemistry the distribution of various cytoskeletal and contractile proteins (cytokeratins, vimentin, desmin and α-smooth muscle actin) in 23 salivary or lacrimal gland primary tumours (15 pleomorphic adenomas and 8 carcinomas in pleomorphic adenoma), one third of which contained areas of normal gland. Normal epithelial luminal cells were stained by cytokeratin antibodies with a general specificity, while myoepithelial cells were selectively stained by a monoclonal antibody (SK2-27) reacting in immunoblots with cytokeratin polypeptides 14, 16 and 17, according to the classification of Moll et al. (1982) and by an antibody directed against α-smooth muscle actin (Skalli et al. 1986). In pleomorphic adenomas, both epithelial and myoepithelial cells displayed typical topographic distributions; moreover, myoepithelial cells showed two distinct cytoskeletal phenotypes. These findings could account in part for the heterogeneity of aspects observed in this tumour. In carcinomas, malignant cells were always positive to cytokeratin antibodies with general specificity and myoepithelial cells were absent as judged by anticytokeratin SK2-27 and anti-α-smooth muscle actin immunostainings. However, interestingly, there was in all cases a strong positivity for α-smooth muscle actin in stromal cells, similarly to what has previously been described for mammary carcinoma (Skalli et al. 1986). Our findings may be useful for the interpretation of the histogenesis of salivary and lacrimal tumour and stromal cells. © 1988 Springer-Verlag.

Publication Title

Virchows Archiv A Pathological Anatomy and Histopathology