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Phenotypes in canalicular adenoma of human minor salivary glands reflect the interplay of altered secretory product, absent neuro-effector relationships and the diversity of the microenvironment



Phenotypes in canalicular adenoma of human minor salivary glands reflect the interplay of altered secretory product, absent neuro-effector relationships and the diversity of the microenvironment



Histopathology 35(6): 502-516



Aims: Uncertainty about the factors influencing phenotypes in salivary canalicular adenoma prompted the present investigation. Methods and results: Specimens of canalicular adenoma from 15 patients were examined with the use of histology, histochemistry for protein, mucosubstances and pigments, nerve staining and immunocytochemistry for cytoskeleton components. The tumours consisted largely of simple cells lining tubules that were occasionally cystic or branching and budding, and were set in loose, vascular and often haemorrhagic stroma. Other phenotypes recognized were mucous cells, apocrine-like cells, pigmented cells, microliths and stromal macrophages, detected in 26.6%, 20%, 33.3%, 20% and 53.3% of the patients, respectively. Simple cells showed moderate levels of -SH groups and strong immunoreactivity for 'simple' epithelial phenotype cytokeratin. The simple cells lining cystic tubules showed additional immunoreactivity for 'stratified' epithelial phenotype cytokeratin, possibly an adaptation to mechanical pressure. Lumina showed variable levels of neutral and carboxylated glycoproteins, and chondroitin sulphate. Stroma showed high levels of chondroitin sulphate and hyaluronic acid. Mucous cells showed high levels of -SS- groups and nonsulphated glycoproteins. Apocrine-like cells contained lipofuscin. Pigmented cells contained haemosiderin, possibly a consequence of localized iron overload. Microliths contained mucosubstances. Macrophages often contained lipofuscin. No nerves were found in relation to the tumours. Conclusions: The results suggest that, contrary to popular belief, phenotypes in canalicular adenoma do not reflect histogenetic concepts but rather may derive from the interplay between an altered secretory product, consisting of glycosaminoglycan and an immature form of glycoprotein, the lack of neuro-effector relationships and the different microenvironments throughout the tumour.

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Accession: 011141414

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10583574

DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2559.1999.00785.x


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