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Expression of CD44 isoforms in normal salivary gland tissue: An immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study

, : Expression of CD44 isoforms in normal salivary gland tissue: An immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study. Histochemistry & Cell Biology 114(6): 483-488, December

We studied the expression of CD44 isoforms immunoreactivity in normal human salivary gland tissue, aiming at its full characterisation in normal epithelial and myoepithelial cell types. Optical immunohistochemistry techniques using monoclonal antibodies anti-CD44v3, CD44v4/5 and, for CD44v6, together with immunoelectron microscopy, were performed in serous, seromucinous and mucinous glands. Normal human breast and a case of lactating breast adenoma were used for comparative purposes and as controls. CD44v3 was positive in acinar and myoepithelial cells and was absent in mucin-producing cells from the different gland types. CD44v4/5 was consistently negative in all types of salivary tissue. CD44v6 was constantly positive in serous acinar cells, focally positive in basal cells of ducts, and myoepithelial cells consistently expressed it. At the ultrastructural level, CD44v6 was localised to the inter-digitating processes of acinar cells, whenever they were not covered by basal lamina and to the cell membrane facing myoepithelial cells. In myoepithelial cells, immunolabelling was found at the membranes facing the acinar cells and in caveolae present at this interface. No labelling was found at cell membranes of both acinar and myoepithelial cells in contact with basal lamina or at the luminal aspect of the former. The finding of CD44v3 and v6 in myoepithelium of normal salivary glands may argue in favour of the role of these molecules in the regulation of growth and renewal of normal tissues and, potentially, on the morphogenesis of salivary gland neoplasms.


DOI: 10.1007/s004180000220

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