Virchows Archiv

, Volume 440, Issue 5, pp 519–526

A morphogenetic concept of salivary duct regeneration and metaplasia

  • Stephan Ihrler
  • Christian Zietz
  • Andrea Sendelhofert
  • Stephan Lang
  • Sabine Blasenbreu-Vogt
  • Udo Löhrs
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s004280100537

Cite this article as:
Ihrler, S., Zietz, C., Sendelhofert, A. et al. Virchows Arch (2002) 440: 519. doi:10.1007/s004280100537

Abstract.

The exact mechanisms of physiological regeneration and of metaplastic processes of the salivary duct have not been definitely established, although regeneration from a putative uncommited stem cell population has long been favored. In the present study, double immunohistochemical labeling for Ki 67 and α-actin or different cytokeratin subtypes, respectively, made possible an exact localization and quantification of cellular proliferation in the regular salivary duct and in different types of metaplasia. Our data demonstrate a baseline proliferative capacity in all five cell types of the salivary duct. Luminal secretory cells of the acinus and intercalated duct regenerate independently from myoepithelial or basal cells. In contrast, the renewal of oxyphilic cells in the striated and excretory duct is maintained by proliferation and differentiation of basal cells. The great majority of metaplasias develops from uncommitted, Bcl-2 positive basal cells of striated/excretory ducts which possess an enormous capacity for pluridirectional morphogenetic differentiation. Despite this important role of basal cells, our findings demonstrate that all cell types principally have to be considered as potential progenitor cells for salivary gland tumors. The improved insight into regenerative and metaplastic processes of the salivary duct may contribute to a better understanding of the complex formal carcinogenesis.

Salivary gland Basal cell Regeneration Metaplasia Cytokeratin filaments

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan Ihrler
    • 1
  • Christian Zietz
    • 1
  • Andrea Sendelhofert
    • 1
  • Stephan Lang
    • 2
  • Sabine Blasenbreu-Vogt
    • 1
  • Udo Löhrs
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Pathology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Thalkirchnerstrasse 36, 80337 Munich, GermanyGermany
  2. 2.Department of ENT, Head and Neck Surgery, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, GermanyGermany