, Volume 413, Issue 2, pp 133-139

Immunohistochemical localization of myoepithelial cells and basement membrane in normal, benign and malignant human breast lesions

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Distributions of actin and type IV collagen were investigated immunohistochemically as markers for myoepithelial cells and basement membranes. Carnoy's and Methacarn-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues from 103 human breast lesions from 103 patients were examined; 65 with carcinomas, 27 with mastopathies, 9 with fibroadenomas and 2 with phyllodes tumours. Fifty-five samples of the normal mammary gland tissue adjacent to tumours were also included for comparison. In normal breast and benign breast diseases, type IV collagen was identified around the mammary glandular cells and actin-positive cells were demonstrated to attach to basement membranes. In noninvasive carcinomas, type IV collagen was found as a continuous lining around a cell nest, while actin-positive cells were usually absent in ductal but quite numerous in lobular carcinomas. In invasive carcinomas, type IV collagen was fragmented or absent and actin-positive cells were very uncommon around the fragmentary basement membranes. These results suggest that the different distributions of myoepithelial cells and basement membrane material is useful in the differential diagnosis of surgical pathology of the breast.

This work is supported in part by grant-in-aid for cancer research 62010025, from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Japan