Author(s): Abbas O, Bhawan J
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Emerging evidence is implicating stem cells in the pathogenesis of different cutaneous neoplasms. The immunohistochemical use of stem cell markers has facilitated stem cell identification. While few studies have examined the expression of cytokertatin (CK)15 and cytokeratin (CK)19 in basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), only rarely have nestin expression been examined in these two malignancies. Furthermore, stem cell marker expression, to the best of our knowledge, has not been examined in Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). METHODS: In this study, we examined the expression of stem cell markers CK15, CK19 and nestin in 51 overall cases (11 cases of MCC and 20 cases each of BCC and SCC) retrieved from the pathology files of Skin Pathology Laboratory, Boston University School of Medicine. RESULTS: Cytokeratin 15 immunoreactivity was observed in 30\% of BCC cases and only a single (5\%) SCC case, while all MCC cases were negative. While 60\% of BCC cases and 30\% of SCC cases stained positively with CK19, all MCC cases showed positive immunostaining in a dot-like pattern. While negative in BCC and MCC, nestin expression was interestingly seen in 45\% of SCC cases. CONCLUSIONS: Our study described the expression profiles of stem cell markers CK15, CK19 and nestin in BCC, SCC and MCC. In addition to confirming results of the previous reports, our study also showed positive nestin expression in around half of SCC cases, which adds this malignancy to the cutaneous tumours that have been so far reported to exhibit nestin expression. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology © 2010 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.
This article was published in J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology