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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 385604, 8 pages
Research Article

CD133 Expression in Normal Skin and in Epithelial Cutaneous Tumors

1Department of Pathology, University General Hospital, 03003 Albacete, Spain
2AECC Translational Oncologic Research Unit, University General Hospital, 03003 Albacete, Spain
3Department of Dermatology, University General Hospital, 03003 Albacete, Spain
4Regulation of Cell Growth Laboratory, Inbiomed Foundation, 20009 San Sebastian, Spain
5Department of Pathology, University General Hospital and Murcia University, 30003 Murcia, Spain

Received 30 April 2013; Revised 14 July 2013; Accepted 24 July 2013

Academic Editor: Francesco Del Galdo

Copyright © 2013 S. H. Nam-Cha et al. 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.


Background. Expression of human CD133 (human prominin-1) in cancer cells has been postulated to be a marker of stemness and is considered as a putative marker of cancer stem cells (CSCs). We designed a study to describe the expression pattern of CD133 in normal skin and in epithelial cutaneous neoplasms. Methods. The CD133 immunohistochemical expression of forty-three eccrine and apocrine tumors was compared to that observed in other epithelial tumors of the skin. In addition, flow cytometry was used to detect the CD133 expression of four epithelial skin neoplasms, including one porocarcinoma. Results. CD133 immunoreactivity at the apical or at the apicolateral surface of cells forming glandular structures was observed. Cells from solid areas of benign or malignant tumors were not stained. The porocarcinoma derived culture cells showed a 22% of CD133 positive cells using flow cytometry, while squamous cell carcinoma cultures contained less than 0.1%. Conclusions. These observations indicate that CD133 is a specific marker of glandular differentiation that could be included in the diagnostic panel of cutaneous tumors with possible eccrine or apocrine differentiation. However, the use of CD133 expression as a marker of CSCs should be interpreted with caution in experiments of skin.