AP2 protein expression as a diagnostic marker in soft tissue tumours.
Yang TT., Reed AC., Athanasou NA.
PURPOSE/METHODS: The aP2 gene product (aP2 protein) is known to be expressed by preadipocytes and other immature fat cells in vitro. A mouse monoclonal antibody raised against an 18 amino acid segment of the aP2 protein was found to react with lipoblasts and fetal fat cells in paraffin sections of soft tissue tumours of adipose differentiation. In this immunohistochemical study, we have further examined the diagnostic utility of aP2 expression in distinguishing tumours of adipose differentiation from other benign and malignant soft tissue tumours.Result and discussion aP2 was strongly expressed by lipoblasts in lipoblastomas and all types of liposarcoma as well as brown fat cells in hibernomas. Optimal conditions for immunohistochemical identification of lipoblasts in tumours of adipose differentiation was noted when the antibody was diluted 1:30 to 1:50. Small lipoblast-like fat cells in pleomorphic lipoma and spindle cell lipoma also showed variable staining for aP2 at this dilution of the antibody. Most benign and malignant soft tissue tumours were distinguished by their absence of staining for aP2 protein, but some cases of myxoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, synovial sarcoma and leiomyosarcoma contained tumour cells which reacted for aP2. aP2 protein expression is likely to prove a useful means of distinguishing lipoblasts in liposarcoma but it should be used as part of a tumour panel to exclude expression in other forms of mesenchymal tumour.