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Keywords:

  • abluminal cells;
  • basal cells;
  • myoepithelial cells;
  • nestin;
  • salivary gland tumors

Nestin is an intermediate filament that was first identified in neural progenitor cells. It is expressed in various cell types in the nervous system as well as in other systems. In the present study, we investigated nestin expression in non-neoplastic salivary gland tissue and in salivary gland tumors. In non-neoplastic salivary glands, nestin expression was observed in only a few abluminal cells. In contrast, diffuse nestin staining was observed in the abluminal cells of pleomorphic adenoma (11 of 11 cases), basal cell adenoma (7 of 7 cases), and epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma (2 of 2 cases). The stromal cells in basal cell adenoma also expressed nestin. In adenoid cystic carcinoma (6 of 7 cases) and polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma (3 of 3 cases), nestin positive cells were observed focally. Nestin was not detected in Warthin tumor (6 cases), classical acinic cell carcinoma (2 cases), mucoepidermoid carcinoma (5 cases), or salivary duct carcinoma (4 cases). Because the nestin expression pattern in each histological salivary gland tumor type is unique, nestin could be a very useful abluminal cell marker for the diagnosis of salivary gland tumors.