Expression of stem cell markers in stroma of odontogenic cysts and tumors

Moran Chacham, Galit Almoznino, Ayelet Zlotogorski-Hurvitz, Amos Buchner, Marilena Vered

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The stroma of odontogenic cysts/tumors may confer them differential biological behavior. We aimed to investigate the immunoexpression of stem cell markers (Nanog, SOX2, Oct4, and CD34) in the stroma of odontogenic cysts and tumors. CD34 was investigated exclusively as a marker for stromal fibroblast/fibrocyte cells (CD34 + SFCs). CD34 + SFCs were also investigated ultrastructurally. Methods: Ten cases each of primary odontogenic keratocyst (OKC), recurrent OKC, dentigerous cyst, ameloblastoma, unicystic ameloblastoma, odontogenic myxoma, and 7 syndromic OKC were included. Results were represented as the mean score (%) of positive cells/field for each marker for each study group. For CD34 + SFCs, results are presented as the mean number of cells/field for each type of lesion. Kruskal-Wallis and Spearman's correlation statistical tests were used; significance was set at P <.05. Results: All markers except Oct4 were expressed by stromal cells in all lesions. Expression of SOX2 was significantly higher in tumors than in cysts (P <.05). CD34 + SFCs were more frequent in cysts than in tumors. Ultrastructurally, CD34 + SFCs were identified for the first time in odontogenic lesions and showed characteristic bipolar/dendritic morphology. Conclusion: Among examined stromal stem cell markers, only SOX2 distinguished tumors from cysts. CD34 + SFCs may also contribute to the biological behavior of odontogenic lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1068-1077
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Oral Pathology and Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • odontogenic cysts
  • odontogenic tumors
  • stem cell markers
  • stroma

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Cancer Research
  • Periodontics


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