• Cancer;
  • CD11b;
  • CD11c;
  • CD86;
  • Diagnosis;
  • MHC class IIα


Definitive diagnosis of histiocytic sarcoma (HS) in dogs is relatively difficult by conventional histopathological examination because objective features of HS are not well defined.


Quantitative analysis of mRNA expression of selected cellular surface antigens (SAs) specific to HS in dogs can facilitate objective and rapid diagnosis.


Dogs with HS (n = 30) and dogs without HS (n = 36), including those with other forms of lymphoma (n = 4), inflammatory diseases (n = 6), and other malignant neoplasias (n = 26).


Retrospective clinical observational study. Specimens were collected by excisional biopsy, needle core biopsy, or fine needle aspiration. To determine HS detection efficacy, mRNA expression levels of selected SAs specific to HS in dogs, including MHC class IIα, CD11b, CD11c, and CD86, were quantitatively analyzed using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction.


Each SA mRNA expression level was significantly higher in HS dogs than in non-HS dogs (= .0082). Cutoff values for discriminating between HS and non-HS dogs based on these expression levels were calculated on the basis of receiver-operating characteristic analysis. Accuracy of the cutoff values, including MHC class IIα, CD11b, CD11c, and CD86, was 87.9, 86.4, 86.4, and 84.8%, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

Our results suggest that quantitative analysis of mRNA expression of the selected SAs could be an adjunctive diagnostic technique with high diagnostic accuracy for HS in dogs. Substantial investigation is required for exclusion of diseases with similar cell types of origin to lymphoma.