Melan-A/Mart-1 expression in various melanocytic lesions and in non-melanocytic soft tissue tumours.

PMID 10383696


The purpose of this study was to test different malignant non-melanocytic tumours with the commercially available antibody Melan-A to examine its diagnostic specificity and to compare the S100, Melan-A and HMB-45 reactivity in various melanocytic lesions. Seventy-three benign and malignant melanocytic lesions and 31 cases of non-melanocytic tumours, sarcomas, carcinomas and carcinoids, were selected. Immunohistochemical staining of paraffin sections, following a high temperature antigen unmasking technique, was performed. Melan-A stains junctional and dermal melanocytes in all benign melanocytic lesions with the exception of neuro-naevoid areas. The epithelioid and the spindle cells in malignant melanomas did not show considerable difference in their Melan-A reactivity. The predominantly spindle cell type mucosal melanomas contained more Melan-A-positive cells than HMB-45-positive cells and similar results were observed in metastatic malignant melanomas. In desmoplastic melanomas the positivity of Melan-A was not consistent. None of the sarcomas, carcinomas and carcinoids expressed Melan-A. Almost all soft tissue tumours, except for two malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumours, were unreactive for HMB-45. These two cases did not react with Melan-A antibody. Melan-A is a useful additional marker to differentiate non-melanocytic tumours from primary or metastatic melanoma. In melanocytic lesions the Melan-A staining pattern is similar to S100, but seems to be more specific. In desmoplastic melanomas, however, the variable Melan-A staining further necessitated detailed histological examination and the use of the S100 reaction.