Author(s): Shrestha P, Sumitomo S, Ogata K, Yamada K, Takai Y
Tenascin, a large molecular weight extracellular glycoprotein expressed at the epithelial-mesenchymal interface during morphogenesis in embryo, wound healing and in the stroma of various benign and malignant tumours was evaluated in a series of primary epithelial tumours of salivary glands using a monoclonal antibody. Normal salivary glands (n = 5) had linear delicate band-like immunoreactive tenascin in relatively large excretory or intralobular ducts. Pleomorphic adenomas (n = 40) had heterogeneity of expression in modified myoepithelial cell-associated myxoid, hyaline and chondroid areas. Warthin's tumours (n = 10) had a linear immunoreactivity profile of tenascin just adjacent to the basal cells of the epithelial tumour component. A heterogeneity of expression with intense to low or negative stromal immunoreactivity was observed in adenoid cystic carcinomas (n = 8), mucoepidermoid carcinomas (n = 8), epithelial-myoepithelial carcinomas (n = 4), polymorphous low-grade carcinomas (n = 3), papillary cystadenocarcinomas (n = 15) and undifferentiated carcinomas (n = 3). In addition, small cystic spaces or lumens of epithelial-lined tubulo-ductal structures in numerous salivary tumours had positive immunoreactivity for tenascin, suggesting its production by the epithelial tumour component. An enhanced expression of tenascin in salivary tumours suggests a role of this protein in the stromal remodelling and tumour growth.