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Mast cells in infantile haemangioma possess a primitive myeloid phenotype
  1. Tinte Itinteang1,2,3,
  2. Swee T Tan1,3,4,
  3. Jun Jia1,
  4. Ryan Steel1,
  5. Emma L Laing1,
  6. Helen D Brasch1,3,5,
  7. Darren J Day2
  1. 1Gillies McIndoe Research Institute, Wellington, New Zealand
  2. 2School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
  3. 3Centre for the Study & Treatment of Vascular Birthmarks, Wellington Regional Plastic, Maxillofacial & Burns Unit, Hutt Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand
  4. 4Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand
  5. 5Department of Pathology, Hutt Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Professor Swee T Tan, Gillies Mcindoe Research Institute, PO Box 7184, Newtown, Wellington 6242, New Zealand; swee.tan{at}


Aims Recent reports on infantile haemangioma (IH) have demonstrated a primitive population of interstitial cells expressing the embryonic transcription factor, Nanog, with decreasing abundance during involution. In this report we investigated the expression of Nanog on mast cells in all three phases of IH progression.

Methods Paraffin-embedded sections of six proliferating, six involuting and six involuted IH lesions were used to investigate the expression of tryptase, Nanog, CD45, CD34 and GLUT-1 by immunostaining.

Results Mast cells, identified by their expression of tryptase, were located in the interstitium of IH lesions. 93%, 42% and 0% of these tryptase+ cells also expressed Nanog, in proliferating, involuting and involuted IH, respectively.

Conclusions The identification of an abundant population of tryptase+/Nanog+ cells in IH is novel. The relative loss of Nanog expression as IH involutes may be a result of maturation and/or proliferation of these cells. This report supports the primitive nature of IH.


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