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Differential immunophenotypic analysis of dendritic cell tumours
  1. Tomohiko Orii1,2,
  2. Hiroaki Takeda2,
  3. Sumio Kawata2,
  4. Kunihiko Maeda1,
  5. Mitsunori Yamakawa1
  1. 1Department of Pathological Diagnostics, Faculty of Medicine, Yamagata University, Yamagata, Japan
  2. 2Second Department of Internal Medicine, Yamagata University School of Medicine, Yamagata, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Professor Mitsunori Yamakawa, Department of Pathological Diagnostics, Faculty of Medicine, Yamagata University, 2-2-2 Iida-Nishi, Yamagata 990-9585, Japan; myamakaw{at}


Aims The phenotypic and biological characteristics of dendritic cell (DC) tumours have not been fully elucidated. The aim of this study was to compare the immunophenotypic characteristics of DC-related markers and cell-cycle-associated markers among DC tumours and finally to utilise them for differential diagnosis of DC tumours.

Methods Tissue sections from 28 patients with DC tumours were immunohistochemically examined using DC-related and cell-cycle-associated markers.

Results The Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) and Langerhans cell sarcoma (LCS) samples were positive for S-100 protein, CD1a, Langerin, fascin, DEC-205 and DC-SIGN. Interdigitating dendritic cell sarcoma (IDCS) was positive for S-100 protein and fascin and negative for Langerin. In addition, two IDCS samples were positive for CD1a, DEC-205 and DC-SIGN. The labelling indices of Ki-67, cyclin A, cyclin B1 and acetylated histone H3 on the LCS and IDCS specimens were significantly higher than those on the LCH specimens. The expression of p53 was also significantly higher in the LCS specimens than in the LCH specimens. The numbers of infiltrating CD123+ and FOXP3+ cells were also significantly higher in the LCS samples than in the LCH and IDCS samples. Follicular dendritic cell sarcoma was distinguished from other DC tumours by the lack of DC-SIGN, Langerin and DCE-205.

Conclusions These results suggest that Langerin can be used to distinguish LCS from IDCS, and DC-SIGN and DEC-205 can be used to identify DC tumour cells. The frequency of cell-cycle-associated markers can be used for the differential diagnosis of malignant and benign DC tumours.

  • Dendritic cell tumour
  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis
  • Langerhans cell sarcoma
  • interdigitating dendritic cell sarcoma
  • immunohistochemistry
  • haematopathology
  • immunohistochemistry

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Yamagata University School of Medicine Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.