, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 223-229

Ghost Cells in Calcifying Odontogenic Cyst Express Enamel-related Proteins

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The so-called ghost cell is a unique cell type occurring in a variety of odontogenic and non-odontogenic lesions. However, the true nature of ghost cells has not been determined. In the present study, we examined the immunoreactivity of ghost cells in calcifying odontogenic cysts and dermal calcifying epitheliomas, with antibodies against amelogenin, enamelin, sheath protein (sheathlin) and enamelysin, in an attempt to clarify the nature of this unique cell. The cytoplasm of ghost cells in calcifying odontogenic cysts demonstrated distinct immunolocalization of the enamel-related proteins, while similar in the calcifying epitheliomas of the skin showed a negative reaction. The results indicate that the ghost cells in calcifying odontogenic cysts, as opposed to ghost cells in dermal calcifying epitheliomas, contain enamel-related proteins in their cytoplasm accumulated during the process of pathological transformation.