GATA3 is a zinc finger transcription factor that regulates the normal development of many tissues and cell types. Recent studies have shown that immunohistochemical nuclear staining for GATA3 among tumors is highly restricted to carcinomas of breast and urothelial origin; however salivary gland tumors have not been tested. Given that breast and salivary gland tissues are very similar with respect to embryologic development and structure, we performed GATA3 staining on a spectrum of salivary gland neoplasms. GATA3 immunohistochemistry was performed on a diverse collection of 180 benign and malignant salivary gland neoplasms including 10 acinic cell carcinomas, 2 adenocarcinomas not otherwise specified, 41 adenoid cystic carcinomas, 2 epithelial-myoepithelial carcinomas, 1 low grade cribriform cystadenocarcinoma, 15 mammary analogue secretory carcinomas, 7 metastatic squamous cell carcinomas, 27 mucoepidermoid carcinomas, 2 oncocytic carcinomas, 5 oncocytomas, 34 pleomorphic adenomas, 4 polymorphous low grade adenocarcinomas, 25 salivary duct carcinomas, and 5 Warthin tumors. Staining for GATA3 was observed in 92/180 (51 %) of salivary gland tumors. GATA3 staining was observed in most of the tumor types, but diffuse immunolabeling was consistently seen in salivary duct carcinoma (25 of 25) and mammary analogue secretory carcinoma (15 of 15)-the two tumor types that most closely resemble breast neoplasia. Background benign salivary gland tissue was also usually weakly positive in both acini and ducts. GATA3 immunostaining is not restricted to tumors of breast and urothelial origin. Rather, it is expressed across many different types of salivary gland neoplasms. As a result, salivary gland origin should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a GATA3-positive carcinoma, particularly in the head and neck. Although GATA3 immunohistochemistry is not helpful in resolving the differential diagnosis between a primary salivary gland neoplasm and metastatic breast cancer, it may have some utility in subtyping salivary gland tumors, particularly salivary duct carcinoma and mammary analogue secretory carcinoma.
- Mammary analogue secretory carcinoma
- Salivary duct carcinoma
- Salivary glands
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine