Angiogenesis and Lymphangiogenesis in Salivary Gland Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma and Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.

2 Dental Materials Research Center, Health Research Institute, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.

3 Oral Health Research Center, Health Research Institute, Dental Faculty, Dental Faculty, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.

4 Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 Non-communicable Pediatrics’ Disease Research Center, Institute of Health, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.


Background and Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the immunohistochemical expression of CD31 and podoplanin in order to examine angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, respectively in common malignant tumors of salivary glands. Materials and Methods: Forty formalin-fixed, paraffinated blocks (20 adenoid cystic carcinoma and 20 mucoepidermoid carcinoma blocks) were selected from the medical archives of Amir A’lam Hospital of Tehran, Iran. Sections from the blocks were stained by CD31 and D2-40 markers via immunohistochemistry. Clinical and demographic information was extracted from the patients’ records. Findings: There was a significant difference between tumors in terms of intratumoral microvessel density (MVD) (P< 0.001), total MVD (P< 0.001), and intratumoral lymphatic vessel density (LVD) (P= 0.011). In mucoepidermoid carcinoma, intratumoral MVD and LVD were greater than peritumoral MVD and LVD (P= 0.001 and P< 0.001, respectively). In mucoepidermoid carcinoma, there was no relationship between histological grade with MVD (total, intratumoral or peritumoral) or LVD (total, intratumoral or peritumoral) (P> 0.05). A similar finding was reported with respect to the histopathological grade of adenoid cystic carcinoma (P> 0.05). Conclusion: The higher level of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in mucoepidermoid carcinoma, specifically at the center of tumor, compared to adenoid cystic carcinoma, may be attributed to differences in the clinical behaviors and metastasis of tumors. Moreover, considering the high LVD at the center of tumor in mucoepidermoid carcinoma and infrequency of metastasis to regional lymph nodes in adenoid cystic carcinoma, it can play a significant role in metastasis to regional lymph nodes.