gms | German Medical Science

77th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

24.05. - 28.05.2006, Mannheim

Immunohistochemical analysis of cytokeratin expression and distribution in middle ear cholesteatoma

Vergleichendes Zytokeratinverteilunsmuster im Mittelohrcholesteatom

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Ewa Olszewska - Department of Otolaryngology Medical Academy, Bialystok, Poland
  • Holger Sudhoff - Department of Otolaryngology Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany

German Society of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. 77th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. Mannheim, 24.-28.05.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06hno051

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 7, 2006

© 2006 Olszewska et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Cytokeratins (CKs) are known as the intermediate filament proteins of epithelial origin. There are about 30 polypeptides of cytokeratin (CK) expressed by different human epithelia. Their distribution in human epithelia is different due to the type of epithelium, state of growth and differentiation. Cytokeratins expression has been widely found in various malignancies althought they are observed in other diseases as well. These are not classified to a metastatic origin i.e. cholesteatoma. We used monoclonal mouse antibodies against cytokeratins to study CK expression in the different types of epithelium. Immunohistochemical processing was performed using the labeled steptavidin peroxidase method to demonstrate the presence of CKs in cells of human epidermis. Positive reaction was obtained for CK4, 34βE12, CK10, CK14 in skin and cholesteatoma epithelium. However more extensive positive reaction with those CKs was observed in cholesteatoma epithelium. Positive immunoreactivity was seen with anti- CK 19 in the glandular epithelium. Middle ear mucosa specimens revealed positive immunoreactivity with the antibodies against CD4. The expression of CK4 was definitely positive within the basal layers of the epidermis. The glandular epithelium showed no positive reaction. Cholesteatoma is known as proliferative disease in the middle ear which pathogenesis is not completely understood. Keratinocytes express hyperproliferation- associated CKs and after reaching the suprabasal layers they finally undergo apoptosis created keratinous debris. Cytokeratins expression observed in the epithelium explains proliferative behavior of cholesteatoma that is associated with increased keratinocyte migration. The proliferative epithelium accompanies an increased apoptosis in cholesteatoma as well as in the skin. Althought more extensive processes are observed in cholesteatoma result in an abnormal accumulation of keratinous debris which is the characteristic feature of cholesteatoma. Cytokeratins can be used as potential proliferative markers. It can also permit for searching the usefulness of inhibiting regulators in the treatment of hyperproliferative diseases.