Background: Nestin, one of the intermediate filaments constituting the cytoskeleton, is a marker of neural stem cells or progenitor cells. Its expression is also related to tooth development and repair of dentine.
Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate nestin expression in various odontogenic tumours and evaluate its usefulness for histopathological diagnosis.
Methods: We studied formalin fixed, paraffin embedded specimens from 129 cases of odontogenic tumours and 9 of mandibular intraosseous myxoma. After characterisation of odontogenic ectomesenchymal tissues in these tumours using antibodies to vimentin, desmin, neurofilament, and glial fibrillary acidic protein, we immunohistochemically examined nestin expression.
Results: No differentiation towards muscle and nervous tissues was found in the odontogenic ectomesenchymal tissues. Although almost all the ameloblastomas and malignant ameloblastomas were negative for nestin, odontogenic ectomesenchyme in the odontogenic mixed tumours demonstrated nestin immunolocalisation, particularly in the region adjacent to the odontogenic epithelium. Odontoblasts and their processes, pulp cells near the positive odontoblasts, and flat cells adhering to the dentine showed immunoreaction with nestin in the odontomas and odontoma-like component in the ameloblastic fibro-odontomas. Neoplastic cells in almost half cases of jaw myxoma and one case of odontogenic fibroma expressed nestin.
Conclusions: The distribution of nestin in the odontogenic mixed tumours suggests that nestin expression in the odontogenic ectomesenchyme is upregulated by stimulation from odontogenic epithelium. In addition, nestin may also be involved in the differentiation from pulp cells to odontoblasts in odontogenic tumours. Therefore, nestin is a useful marker for the odontogenic ectomesenchyme and odontoblasts in odontogenic tumours.
Nestin, one of the intermediate filaments constituting the cytoskeleton, is a marker of neural stem cells or progenitor cells. Its expression is also related to tooth development and repair of dentine.
- AOT, adenomatoid odontogenic tumour
- GFAP, glial fibrillary acidic protein
- odontogenic ectomesenchyme
- odontogenic tumour