Different patterns of expression of the erbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases in common nevi, dysplastic nevi, and primary malignant melanomas: An immunohistochemical study

Meora Feinmesser, Vladimir Veltman, Sara Morgenstern, Ana Tobar, Haim Gutman, Ella Kaganovsky, Cohava Tzabari, Jaqueline Sulkes, Elimelech Okon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

erbB receptors contribute to tumor formation and progression. Variable expression of erbB1, erbB2, and erbB3 has been reported in nevi and melanomas; erbB4 has hardly been investigated. We examined the expression of all 4 erbB receptors in common and dysplastic nevi and melanomas. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues of 100 melanomas, 27 common nevi, and 23 dysplastic nevi were immunostained with antibodies against the 4 erbB receptors. erbB3 and erbB4 showed stronger positivity in nevi than in melanomas, and in common than in dysplastic nevi. Staining pattern was more orderly in nevi than in melanomas. Common nevi showed more prominent membranous staining for erbB3 than dysplastic nevi followed by melanomas. In melanomas, greater thickness was associated with more widespread erbB2 and erbB3 staining in the vertical than in the radial growth phase, and in the dermal than in the epidermal component. Higher mitotic counts were associated with more widespread and intense erbB2 expression in the vertical growth phase than in the radial growth phase and in the dermal than in the epidermal component. Melanomas with more widespread erbB2 staining had heavier lymphocytic infiltrates. erbB1 expression was negligible in all groups. erbB2, erbB3, and erbB4 are expressed in all subtypes of melanocytic lesions, but with quantitative and qualitative differences. Receptor expression seems to decrease and to become less mature and orderly with tumor progression. The complex patterns of erbB receptor expression in melanocytic lesions warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-675
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology
Volume32
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • common nevi
  • dysplastic nevi
  • erbB receptor family
  • malignant melanoma

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