Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 11–20

Immunolocalization of a human basal epithelium specific keratin in benign and malignant breast disease


  • Shahnaz Hashmi Dairkee
    • Peralta Cancer Research Institute
  • Britt Marie Ljung
    • Department of PathologyUniversity of California, San Francisco
  • Helene Smith
    • Peralta Cancer Research Institute
  • Adeline Hackett
    • Peralta Cancer Research Institute

DOI: 10.1007/BF01806130

Cite this article as:
Dairkee, S.H., Ljung, B.M., Smith, H. et al. Breast Cancer Res Tr (1987) 10: 11. doi:10.1007/BF01806130


This report describes the immunocytochemical localization of a human basal- or myoepithelial-specific antikeratin antibody in benign and malignant breast disease. Reactivity patterns with this antibody have demonstrated the lack of myoepithelial or basal epithelial participation in most benign breast specimens examined including those displaying cystic disease, fibrosis, or hyperplasia. However, in specimens of sclerosing adenosis, strong reactivity with the majority of cells in most ducts suggests a major participation of the myoepithelial cell type. Analysis of 118 breast carcinoma specimens has demonstrated strong, homogeneous reactivity in 4% of the specimens, suggesting a role for the basal epithelial cell in malignancy of the human mammary gland and implications for the prognosis of such tumors. Antigenic characterization of the malignant and benign mammary specimens which are uniformly reactive with the antibody has demonstrated the presence of a 51 kd keratin polypeptide not found in the non-reactive specimens.

Key words

benign breast diseaseimmunocytochemistrykeratinmammary carcinomamyoepithelium
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1987