Analytical Cellular Pathology

Analytical Cellular Pathology / 2007 / Article

Open Access

Volume 29 |Article ID 486579 |

A. M. Pisacane, F. Picciotto, M. Risio, "CD31 and CD34 Expression as Immunohistochemical Markers of Endothelial Transdifferentiation in Human Cutaneous Melanoma", Analytical Cellular Pathology, vol. 29, Article ID 486579, 8 pages, 2007.

CD31 and CD34 Expression as Immunohistochemical Markers of Endothelial Transdifferentiation in Human Cutaneous Melanoma


Introduction: Vasculogenic mimicry, as previously described in aggressive melanoma, is characterized by the de novo generation of intratumoral patterned vascular channels, composed of PAS-positive basement membrane in the absence of endothelial cells, providing additional microcirculation, in support to the classic tumoral angiogenesis. Methods: We investigated the immunohistochemical expression of two endothelial markers, CD31 and CD34, in tumoral cells of 60 melanomas (45 primary cutaneous and 15 metastatic) as possible evidence of vasculogenic mimicry. In addition we investigated the relationship between CD31 and CD34 expression and three pathological markers such as Clark’s level, and skin ulceration, predictive of melanoma’s aggressive behaviour, and mitotic index. Results: No cases of common melanocytic nevi immunoreacted with CD31 or CD34. Random CD31 immunoreactivity was present in 6% of Clark’s level I/II, 50% of Clark's level III and 80% Clark's level IV/V. CD34 was negative in Clark's level I/II but randomly stained the 20% and 55% of level III and IV/V respectively. 66% (10/15) of metastatic melanomas were CD31 positive showing a canalicular immunostaining pattern, conversely CD34 expression was never found. 7/8 cutaneous ulcerated melanomas immunostained for CD31 and 4/8 for CD34. CD31 immunostained 88% high/intermediate MI, and 53% of low MI melanomas. CD34 decorated the 29% of high/intermediate and 38% of low MI melanomas. Conclusions: CD31 and CD34 immunoreactivity closely parallel both the different morphologic steps of melanocytic tumor progression and the presence of histological parameters related to the aggressive behaviour. Their expression could be related to endothelial transdifferentiation of melanoma cells although a consequent functional role has not been demonstrated yet.

Copyright © 2007 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

More related articles

 PDF Download Citation Citation
 Order printed copiesOrder

We are committed to sharing findings related to COVID-19 as quickly as possible. We will be providing unlimited waivers of publication charges for accepted research articles as well as case reports and case series related to COVID-19. Review articles are excluded from this waiver policy. Sign up here as a reviewer to help fast-track new submissions.