Apoptotic cell death in granular cell ameloblastomas was examined by immunohistochemistry using anti-single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) antibody and transmission electron microscopy. Routinely prepared sections of granular cell ameloblastomas showed various quantities of granular cells with some apoptotic nuclear fragments. Immunoreactivity for ssDNA was higher in granular cells than in other neoplastic cells. Ultrastructural examination revealed abundant lysosomes in the cytoplasm of granular cells. Numerous apoptotic cell fragments with condensed nuclei in granular cell clusters were phagocytosed by adjacent granular cells. On immunohistochemical characterization of cellular differentiation, granular cells were positive for cytokeratin, CD68, lysozyme and alpha-1-antichymotrypsin, but negative for vimentin, desmin, S-100 protein, neuron-specific enolase and CD15, indicating epithelial origin and lysosomal aggregation. These features suggest that the cytoplasmic granularity in granular cell ameloblastomas might be caused by increased apoptotic cell death of neoplastic cells and associated phagocytosis by neighboring neoplastic cells.
- Granular cell
- Single-stranded DNA