Novel and classic myoepithelial/stem cell markers in metaplastic carcinomas of the breast.Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2003 Mar; 11(1):1-8.AI
Metaplastic carcinomas of the breast (MCBs) are unusual neoplasms characterized by an admixture of glandular epithelial components, which frequently exhibit features of squamous differentiation, and mesenchymal malignant components. Regardless of the presence of myoepithelial features in MCB, no consensus concerning their putative histogenesis has yet been achieved. Recently, novel putative myoepithelial markers have been developed, including p63, maspin, and P-cadherin. We assessed the expression of these myoepithelial markers in MCBs and compared their expression with classic myoepithelial markers. Immunohistochemistry using the streptavidin-biotin-peroxidase complex technique with antibodies raised against p63, maspin, P-cadherin, actin (clones CGA7, 1A4 and HHF35), cytokeratin 14 (Ck14), and vimentin was performed on 16 MCBs (7 matrix-producing MCBs, 6 adenosquamous MCBs, and 3 MCBs with heterologous elements). In healthy breast lobules and ducts adjacent to the tumors, myoepithelial cells showed distinctive and consistent immunoreactivity for p63, maspin, P-cadherin, actin, S-100 protein, and Ck14. Matrix-producing MCBs were positive for maspin in all cases, for p63 in 4 of 7 cases, and for P-cadherin in 4 of 7 cases. Adenosquamous MCB showed immunoreactivity for p63, maspin, and P-cadherin in 5 of 6 cases. All novel myoepithelial markers and Ck14 decorated squamous cell islands. MCBs with heterologous elements were positive for p63 in 1 case, for maspin in all 3 cases, and for P-cadherin in 2 cases. All cases showed at least one of the novel myoepithelial markers. Eleven of 16 cases were positive for actin. Eleven of 14 cases reacted with Ck14, and all cases that stained for S-100 protein (9 of 9) and vimentin (13 of 13) were also positive. Based on our findings, the balance of probabilities favors that MCBs may have a basal or myoepithelial cell histogenesis and differentiation.