Squamous/epidermoid differentiation in normal breast and salivary gland tissues and their corresponding tumors originate from p63/K5/14-positive progenitor cells
BACKGROUND We have previously studied the immunoreactivity of 3 novel smooth muscle-specific proteins, alpha-smooth muscle actin, smooth muscle myosin heavy chains, and calponin, to assess myoepithelial differentiation in pleomorphic adenomas. OBJECTIVE To further expand our knowledge of myoepithelial differentiation in other benign and malignant salivary gland tumors. DESIGN Formalin-fixed paraffin sections of 135 salivary gland tumors with associated normal glands were stained with monoclonal antibodies using the avidin-biotin complex immunoperoxidase method and enzymatic and microwave heat-induced epitope retrieval. RESULTS In adenoid cystic carcinomas and epithelial-myoepithelial carcinomas, all 3 markers exclusively highlighted the myoepithelial cell components and the epithelial cells were entirely negative. No immunostaining was detected in canalicular adenomas, oncocytomas, Warthin tumors, acinic cell carcinomas, mucoepidermoid carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinomas. Salivary duct carcinomas and adenocarcinomas, not otherwise specified had a distinctive pattern of uniform periductal staining of reactive myofibroblastic cells, and in salivary duct carcinomas some ducts retained a peripheral immunoreactive myoepithelial cell layer. CONCLUSION Immunoreactivity for these 3 smooth muscle-specific proteins confirms the known neoplastic myoepithelial component of adenoid cystic carcinomas and epithelial-myoepithelial carcinomas. The consistently positive staining pattern in adenoid cystic carcinomas may be diagnostically useful in discriminating histologically similar but consistently negative polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinomas. Periductal linear staining in adenocarcinoma, not otherwise specified and salivary duct carcinomas is distinctive and appears to represent a tight cuff of myofibroblasts associated with the infiltrating glands.