CD1a-positive Langerhans cells and their relationship with E-cadherin in ameloblastomas and keratocystic odontogenic tumors


Correspondence: Jean Nunes dos Santos, Faculdade de Odontologia, Avenida Araújo Pinho, 62, Canela, Salvador-BA 40110-150, Brazil. Tel: 55 71 3283 9019, Fax: 55 71 32838962, E-mail:



Ameloblastomas and keratocystic odontogenic tumors (KOTs) are lesions that are characterized by locally invasive growth and cause extensive bone destruction. In addition, it is known that E-cadherin influences the adhesion of Langerhans cells (LCs) to keratinocytes.

Objective and Methods

The aim of this study was to investigate, using immunohistochemistry, the distribution of CD1a-positive cells in ameloblastomas and KOTs and their relationship with E-cadherin, in comparison to calcifying cystic odontogenic tumor (CCOT).


The CD1a-positive LCs were observed in 11 ameloblastomas and KOTs. All of the cases of CCOT showed CD1a-positive LCs and a significant difference was found when this tumor was compared with ameloblastomas (P < 0.05, Mann–Whitney test). A statistically significant difference was also noted when comparing CD1a-positive LCs between CCOTs and KOTs (P < 0.05, Mann–Whitney test). Lower expression of E-cadherin in ameloblastomas (AMs) in relation to KOTs and CCOTs (P < 0.05, Fisher test) was observed. There was no correlation between E-cadherin and CD1a-positive LCs between all odontogenic tumors that were studied (P > 0.05, Spearman test).


A quantitative difference of CD1a-positive cells between AMs and KOTs in comparison to CCOTs was observed. This permits to speculate that a depletion of CD1a-positive LCs might influence the local invasiveness of ameloblastomas and KOTs. Furthermore, it is suggested that E-cadherin mediates cell adhesion in these tumors.