Ameloblastoma, calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumor, and glandular odontogenic cyst show a distinctive immunophenotype with some myoepithelial antigen expression

Dita Gratzinger, Mohamed E. Salama, Catherine F. Poh, Robert V. Rouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Background: Odontogenic neoplasms have some morphologic overlap with salivary gland neoplasms, many of which show myoepithelial differentiation. In the 1980s, an ultrastructural study identified a population of myoepithelial-like cells in calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumor. Myoepithelial derived tumors have since been shown to have distinct immunohistochemical profiles. Methods: We examined a series of odontogenic neoplasms, including 11 ameloblastomas, four calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumors, five glandular odontogenic cysts (GOCs), and five keratocystic odontogenic tumors with a panel of myoepithelial-associated immunohistochemical stains. We also assessed representative control examples of oral mucosa, odontogenic rests, and dentigerous cysts. Results: All of the neoplastic and non-neoplastic oral epithelium-derived entities share a p63-positive, high molecular weight cytokeratin (CK5/6)-positive immunophenotype. Calponin reactivity was at least focally present in two of four calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumors, three of five GOCs, and 10 of 11 ameloblastomas; the sole completely non-reactive ameloblastoma represents a lung metastasis. One case of calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumor was focally positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein. However, other more definitive markers of myoepithelial differentiation, including S-100 and smooth muscle actin, were negative. Two of three calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumors and five of five GOCs were also positive for a low molecular weight cytokeratin (CK7). Conclusions: Ameloblastomas, GOCs, and calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumors show a distinctive immunophenotype which overlaps with that of myoepithelial-derived salivary gland neoplasms but does not provide definitive support for myoepithelial differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-184
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Oral Pathology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008



  • Ameloblastoma
  • Calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumor
  • Glandular odontogenic cyst
  • Myoepithelial cell
  • Odontogenic tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Cancer Research
  • Periodontics

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