, Volume 432, Issue 3, pp 255-260

Spectrum of GCDFP-15 expression in human fetal and adult normal tissues

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Abstract

 GCDFP-15, a glycoprotein identified in the cyst fluid of cystic breast disease, is considered to be a marker of apocrine differentiation. Studies on GCDFP-15 localization in adult normal tissues are lacking, and no information on GCDFP-15 expression during fetal development has been reported. We investigated GCDFP-15 expression in a large series of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded normal human adult and fetal tissues using the monoclonal antibody BRST-2. In normal adult tissues GCDFP-15 expression was found in all apocrine, lacrimal, ceruminous and Moll’s glands and in numerous serous cells of the submandibular, sublingual and minor salivary glands. The serous cells of nasal and bronchial glands were also positive; parotid and laryngeal glands showed rare immunoreactive cells. GCDFP-15-positive cells were observed in all cutaneous eccrine glands from different body sites. In fetal tissues immunoreactivity was observed in numerous acinous cells of all tracheal, bronchial and submandibular salivary glands. GCDFP-15 positivity was identified in numerous cells of all axillary sweat glands and in rare cells of some sweat glands of the thorax, abdomen, back, leg and arm. In both apocrine and nonapocrine glands GCDFP-15 was always localized in the secretory component. These data suggest that GCDFP-15 is a glandular differentiation marker associated with apocrine secretion; that it is expressed in glands that have phylogenetic origins in common with apocrine glands (submandibular salivary and submucosal bronchial glands); and that eccrine cutaneous glands express GCDFP-15 and thus might be referred to as mixed apocrine-eccrine glands. GCDFP-15 is expressed during fetal development and may represent a common marker of embryologically linked glandular structures.

Received: 22 May 1997 / Accepted: 15 September 1997