Immunophenotypical alterations with impact on the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process in salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinomas

Vol. 61 No. 1, 2020


Iulia Cristiana Belulescu, Claudiu Margaritescu, Cristiana Iulia Dumitrescu, Maria Cristina Munteanu, Otilia Clara Margaritescu

Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is one of the most common malignant salivary glands neoplasms with an indolent clinical course, slow-growing but locally aggressive and quite often with delayed recurrence and distant metastasis. In order to elucidate this tumoral behavior, we conducted an immunohistochemical study investigating the alterations of epithelial phenotype with anti-cytokeratin (CK) AE1/AE3 and anti-E-cadherin antibodies, and the acquisition of mesenchymal phenotype with vimentin, fibronectin, N-cadherin and P-cadherin in salivary ACCs. Thus, we recorded a reduction of CK AE1/AE3, E-cadherin, P-cadherin and fibronectin reactivity in the solid variant and especially in the cells from the periphery of invasive neoplastic proliferations, regardless histological type. These phenotypical alterations suggest the involvement of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process in the progression of salivary ACCs.

Corresponding author: Claudiu Margaritescu, Professor, MD, PhD; e-mail:; Maria Cristina Munteanu, Lecturer, MD, PhD; e-mail:

DOI: 10.47162/RJME.61.1.20 Download PDF
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