Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Assessment of angiogenesis by CD105 antigen in epithelial salivary gland neoplasms with diverse metastatic behavior

Sergio V Cardoso1, Kelen Christine N Souza2, Paulo R Faria3, Ana Lucia A Eisenberg4, Fernando L Dias5 and Adriano M Loyola12*

Author Affiliations

1 Pathology Area, School of Dentistry, Federal University of Uberlandia, Brazil

2 Pathology Post-Graduation Programme, Federal University of Triangulo Mineiro, Brazil

3 Biological Sciences Institute, Federal University of Uberlandia, Brazil

4 Pathology Division, National Cancer Institute, Brazil

5 Head and Neck Surgery Section, National Cancer Institute, Brazil

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BMC Cancer 2009, 9:391  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-391

Published: 4 November 2009



Information on the biology of metastasis development in salivary gland tumors is scarce. Since angiogenesis seems associated with this phenomenon in other tumors, we sought to compare salivary gland tumors with diverse metastatic behavior in order to improve the knowledge and management of these lesions.


Samples from the most important salivary gland tumors were segregated according to its metastatic behavior and submitted to routine immunohistochemistry to identify vessels positive for CD105 expression. Frequency of positive cases and intratumoral microvessel density (IMD) was compared among the group of lesions.


CD105 positive vessels were absent in normal salivary gland tissue, were rare in pleomorphic adenomas and adenoid cystic carcinomas (ACC), more common in polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinomas and highest in mucoepidermoid carcinomas. Only ACC with such feature were metastatic. IMD was higher in malignant rather than benign tumors.


Immunostaining of CD105 in salivary gland tumors implies participation of angiogenesis in the development of malignant lesions, as well as some role for myoepithelial cells in the control of new vessel formation. In addition, suggest that ACC with positive CD105 vessels are at higher risk for metastasis.