, Volume 440, Issue 4, pp 404-409
Date: 07 Nov 2001

Calponin and h-caldesmon expression in atypical fibroxanthoma and superficial leiomyosarcoma

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To evaluate smooth muscle differentiation, myogenic markers [desmin, alpha-smooth muscle actin (SMA), and muscle-specific actin (HHF35)] have been widely used. Calponin and h-caldesmon, which are cytoskeleton-associated actin-binding proteins, have been reported to be more specific myogenic markers, especially since myofibroblasts express a small amount of h-caldesmon. Atypical fibroxanthoma (AFX) occurs in the sun-exposed skin of the elderly and follows a benign clinical course. Histologically, AFX, which is a pleomorphic spindle cell tumor and considered to be a superficial variant of malignant fibrous histiocytoma, also mimics leiomyosarcoma. AFX has been thought to differentiate along pathways with fibrohistiocytic and myofibroblastic phenotypes. AFX (n=10), superficial leiomyosarcoma (S-LMS) (n=17) and benign fibrous histiocytoma (BFH) (n=17) were analyzed for myofibroblastic and smooth muscle differentiation immunohistochemically from the viewpoint of comparison. AFX and BFH showed immunoreactivities respectively for calponin (3/10, 11/17), desmin (3/10, 1/17), SMA (3/10, 13/17), and HHF35 (1/10, 5/17), but failed to express h-caldesmon (0/10, 0/17). S-LMS had a high immunoreactive rate of calponin (17/17), desmin (13/17), SMA (16/17), and HHF35 (16/17), while also expressing caldesmon (11/17). The results reveal that AFX and BFH have immunoreactivities for several myogenic markers, with myofibroblastic differentiation (calponin: ±, h-caldesmon: —), but without the smooth muscle differentiation seen in S-LMS (calponin:+, h-caldesmon: ±). In addition, calponin and h-caldesmon are considered to be useful markers for distinguishing AFX from S-LMS.

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