Syteroid receptor profile of papillary hidradenoma: an immunohistochemical study of 26 cases.

A Campanati, MD, A Offidani, MD.

Dermatology Department, University of Ancona, Italy

Aim: previously, the authors reported the results of an immunohistochemical analysis of estrogen, progesterone and androgen receptors in papillary hidradenoma, stressing its development from anogenital sweat glands, that share the same steroid receptor profile and a morphology resembling mammary glands. The aim of this study is to confirm the histogenetic relationship between papillary hidradenoma and anogenital sweat glands by immunohistochemical means on a larger series of cases. Material and Methods: 26 papillary hidradenoma and anogenital sweat glands detected in surgical specimens were incubated with a panel of primary antibodies against: low molecular weight keratins, high molecular weight keratins, carcinoembryonic antigen, human milk fat globule protein, S100, actin, vimentin, lysozime, EMA, and receptors for estrogen, progesterone and androgen. The avidin-streptavidin peroxidase testing system was employed. Results: both papillary hidradenoma and anogenital sweat glands showed a strong reaction with antibodies direct against smooth muscle actin, S100 protein and CAM 5.2, low molecular weight keratin, human milk fat globules and lysozyme. Furthermore the analysis confirms the immunoreactivity of papillary hidradenoma and anogenital sweat glands for estrogen and progesterone receptors and also an overexpression of androgen receptors in papillary hidradenoma showing apocrine differentiation. Conclusions: taken together, all these results favour the hypothesis that anogenital sweat glands are modified apocrine sweat glands differentiating toward mammary glands and estrogen and progesterone receptors are reliable markers for differentiating them from typical sweat glands. The morphological and immunohistochemical resemblances between papillary hidradenoma and anogenital sweat glands strength the assumption that papillary hidradenoma derives from these glands.

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Paper presented at the International Symposium on Predictive Oncology and Intervention Strategies; Paris, France; February 9 - 12, 2002; in the section on Carcinogenesis.