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Myoepithelial Cell Layer Integrity in Canine Mammary Carcinoma

Sánchez-Céspedes, R., Millán, Y., Guil-Luna, S., García-Monterde, J., Reymundo, C., Espinosa de los Monteros, A., Martín de las Mulas, J.
Journal of comparative pathology 2011 v.145 no.1 pp. 25-30
carcinoma, dogs, mammary neoplasms (animal)
The aim of this study was to determine whether the myoepithelial (ME) cell marker calponin could be used to analyze the integrity of the ME cell layer as a means of identifying canine mammary carcinoma in situ. Tissue from 74 canine mammary lesions was evaluated (two dysplasia, eight benign tumours and 64 carcinomas including one carcinoma in situ). The 63 carcinomas included examples of histological grade 1 (n=32), grade 2 (n=23) and grade 3 (n=8). Expression of calponin was determined by immunohistochemistry. The percentage of proliferating cells surrounded by a single layer of calponin-positive cells formed the basis of classification as type I (≥90%), type II (70–90%) and type III (≤70%). Expression of Ki67 was used to determine the proliferation index (PI). The malignant tumours comprised of an approximately equal mixture of type I, II and III lesions. The two examples of dysplasia, the carcinoma in situ and two thirds of the benign tumours were classified as type I lesions. Some overlap in the level of calponin expression was observed between benign and malignant tumours. Positive correlations between the degree of calponin expression and the type of lesion (i.e. benign versus malignant; R=+0.3, P=0.08) and the histological grade of malignancy (R=+0.54, P=0.000001) were found. A negative correlation between the degree of calponin expression and PI (R=+0.027, P=0.016) was found. The ME cell marker calponin may be used as an aid in the identification of canine carcinoma in situ, but the study of the ME cell layer integrity is not definitive for the diagnosis of malignancy in canine mammary tumours.