Shadow Cell Differentiation: A Comparative Analysis of Modes of Cell Death with Apoptosis and Epidermal/Trichilemmal Differentiation

Shadow cells are characterized by an eosinophilic cytoplasm and a ghost-like nuclear contour; the cell shape is preserved, in spite of nuclear disappearance. Shadow cell nests (SCNs) are frequently observed in pilomatricoma (PMX), where the transitional cells immediately adjacent to SCNs often have a crescent-shaped nucleus showing fragmentation similar to that of apoptotic bodies. They show nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin and DNA double strand breaks (as revealed by in situ 3 ′-tailing reaction or immunohistochemistry for single-stranded DNA [ssDNA]), while they are negative for cleaved caspase-3 or cleaved lamin A, suggesting that shadow cell differentiation (SCD) is a caspase-independent programmed cell death. SCD can be differentiated from epidermal keratinization ( EK) and trichilemmal keratinization (TK) based on the expression pattern of beta-catenin, ssDNA, and caspase-14/CD138. SCD is observed not only in PMX, but also sometimes in basal cell carcinomas, gonadal teratomas, and various extra-cutaneous carcinomas. In particular, SCNs are found in 24% of endo metrial adenoacanthoma and are derived from squamoid morules. This establishes a link between basaloid cells in PMX and squamoid morules in endometrial adenoacanthomas as common precursors of shadow cells. Overall, it is suggested that SCD is different from, but partly similar to, apoptosis and that SCD and EK/TK should be differentiated from the standpoint of cell death/differentiation.Dermatopathology ...
Source: Dermatopathology - Category: Pathology Source Type: research

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