Calretinin expression in odontogenic cysts

J Endod. 2003 Jun;29(6):394-6. doi: 10.1097/00004770-200306000-00003.


Calretinin is a calcium-binding protein with a possible role as a calcium buffer, calcium-sensor, or regulator of apoptosis. Calretinin is expressed in neural tissue, is a specific marker of mesothelial cells, and has been demonstrated in the odontogenic epithelium during odontogenesis in rat molar tooth germs. Moreover, it has been found to be expressed in a high proportion of solid, unicystic, and multicystic ameloblastomas, whereas, on the contrary, no positive staining has been found in odontogenic keratocysts, residual cysts, and dentigerous cysts. The purpose of this study was to evaluate calretinin expression in radicular cysts, follicular cysts, orthokeratinized keratocysts, and parakeratinized keratocysts. A total of 70 odontogenic cysts, 24 radicular cysts, 24 follicular cysts, and 22 odontogenic keratocysts (10 orthokeratinized keratocysts, 12 parakeratinized keratocysts) were evaluated. All the radicular cysts, follicular cysts, and orthokeratinized keratocysts were negative. However in 8 of 12 parakeratinized keratocysts, there was a positivity to calretinin in the parabasal-intermediate layers of the cyst epithelium. This positivity to calretinin in the parabasal layers in parakeratinized keratocysts, similar to that found for other markers like PCNA and p53, could point to an abnormal control of the cell cycle and could help to explain the differences in the clinical and pathologic behavior of odontogenic keratocysts, in particular the differences found between orthokeratinized keratocysts and parakeratinized keratocysts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Basement Membrane / pathology
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Calbindin 2
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Humans
  • Keratins / analysis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis*
  • Odontogenic Cysts / pathology*
  • Radicular Cyst / pathology
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / analysis*


  • Biomarkers
  • CALB2 protein, human
  • Calb2 protein, rat
  • Calbindin 2
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
  • Keratins