We evaluated the expression of vimentin, S100a, and Melan A/MART-1 (melanoma antigen recognized by T cells 1) in seven cell lines established independently from dogs with canine melanoma. We also compared routine immunostaining of 29 clinical specimens from melanoma cases using vimentin, S100a, and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) with staining for Melan A/MART-1 as part of a diagnostic panel. All the cell lines were positive for expression of vimentin and S-100a. Melan A/MART-1 expression was seen consistently in only two of the seven cell lines. Staining for Melan A/MART-1 was most intense near areas of heavy melanin pigmentation. All except one of the clinical specimens were positive for vimentin. S100a was expressed in the majority of both pigmented (15/20, 75%) and amelanotic (8/9, 88.8%) tumors. Seventeen of 29 (58.6%) tumors were positive for NSE. Melan A/MART-1 was expressed in 18/29 (62%) tumors, including 90% of pigmented tumors, but in no amelanotic tumors. Intensity of Melan A/MART-1 staining correlated positively with biologic behavior, with seven malignant tumors showing negative to weak staining and 10 benign tumors showing moderate to strong staining. Three malignant tumors showed moderate to intense staining for Melan A/ MART-1. Our results suggest that expression of Melan A/MART-1 may be unstable in cultured cell lines. Assessment of both S100a and Melan A/MART-1 expression is useful to confirm a diagnosis of canine melanoma, and Melan A/MART-1 may be especially informative regarding the biologic behavior of these tumors.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Dr. Steve Dow and Dr. Lauren Wolfe for providing cell lines, Stacie Bianco for technical help, Dr. Gary Cutter and Dr. Margaret Slater for assistance with statistical analyses, Dr. Kenita Rogers, Dr. Jennifer Thomas, and Dr. Michelle Ritt for critical review of the manuscript, and John Roths for assistance with preparation of the composite photograph. This work was supported in part by grant 1626 from the Canine Health Foundation of the American Kennel Club and grants 98PT–16 and 98CA–34 from the Morris Animal Foundation.
- Lineage markers