Aims—To investigate the role of CD34 positive stromal cells, namely dendritic interstitial cells, in gastric carcinomas, the distribution of CD34 positive stromal cells in gastric adenocarcinomas (GCs), with special reference to two histological types (diffuse (D-type) and intestinal (I-type)), was examined.
Methods—In total, 55 surgically resected GCs (15 D-type and 40 I-type) and their normal tissues were examined. To distinguish CD34 positive stromal cells from vascular endothelial cells and to recognise the tumour border, immunostaining for CD34, CD31, and low molecular weight cytokeratins was performed.
Results—In the 15 D-type GCs, eight of the nine D-type GCs invading the muscularis propria and subserosa had a large number of CD34 positive stromal cells in the tumour stroma, whereas all six D-type GCs confined to the submucosa had no CD34 positive stromal cells in the tumour stroma. All of the 40 I-type GCs had no CD34 positive stromal cells, regardless of tumour depth.
Conclusions—These results suggest that CD34 expression in stromal cells is associated with progression of D-type GCs, and that absence of expression is also seen in I-type GCs that are progressing.
Key Words: CD34 • stromal cell • diffuse type • intestinal type • gastric adenocarcinoma