Method and Results: Calcifying odontogenic cysts (COOs) were examined histopathologically and immunohistochemically to characterize the histological and cytological properties of these lesions. Histopathologically, COCs showed thin or thick lining epithelium with ghost cells. COCs were classified according to proliferative type or nonproliferative type lining epithelium, the presence or absence of ameloblastomatous appearance, and the presence or absence of odontoma in the cyst walls. Immunohistochemically, amelogenin protein was expressed chiefly in ghost cells, whereas cytokeratin 19 (CK19) and bcl-2 proteins were expressed chiefly in lining epithelial cells. The proportion of cases positive for bcl-2 protein was slightly higher in COCs with odontoma than in those without odontoma. Lining epithelial cells sporadically showed positive reactions for Ki-67 antigen. Mean Ki-67 labeling index was slightly greater in COCs with proliferative type lining epithelium, COCs with ameloblastomatous appearance of the cyst walls, and COCs with odontoma of the cyst walls than in COCs without these histological features. Our results suggest that ghost cells or lining epithelial cells show ameloblastic cytodifferentiation or odontogenic epithelial characteristics, that bcl-2 protein is associated with survival of lining epithelial cells in COCs, and that high proliferation potential is associated with ameloblastomatous proliferation or combined odontoma. COCs exhibited various histological features with several transitional forms, and immunohistochemical examinations revealed little or no difference in cytodifferentiation and cellular activity among COCs. Conclusion: We conclude that COCs with various histological features have neoplastic potential and may not be separate entities within the same histological spectrum.
- Calcifying odontogenic cyst (COC)
- Cellular activity