Background: CD10, the Common Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Antigen, is a neutral endopeptidase commonly used as a marker of early B-cell differentiation in the classification of lymphomas. Neoplasms of other histogenesis may express CD10, including renal cell carcinoma. Renal cell carcinoma metastatic to the skin (MRCC) can simulate other more common clear cell lesions in which expression of CD10 has not been described.
Methods: Fifty-two cutaneous clear cell lesions including xanthomas (CX), xanthelasmas (XA), xanthogranulomas (XG), balloon cell nevi (BCN), nodular/clear cell hidradenomas (CCH), and MRCC were examined by immunohistochemistry for the expression of CD10, noting frequency and pattern of labeling.
Results: CD10 was expressed in 32/35 of the xanthomatous lesions (CX, XA, and XG), 3/3 MRCC, but only 2/8 BCN and 2/6 CCH. BCN and CCH expressed CD10 in fewer than 10% of the clear cells, whereas all MRCC and most xanthomatous lesions had labeling in greater than 10% (p < 0.001). Xanthomatous lesions exhibited a predominantly membranous pattern of labeling compared to the cytoplasmic pattern of MRCC (p < 0.025).
Conclusions: Cutaneous clear cell lesions of different histogenesis express CD10, limiting its use as a specific diagnostic marker for MRCC. Among other clear cell lesions, however, BCN and CCH have a lower frequency of labeling than does MRCC, and xanthomatous lesions show a membranous pattern compared to the cytoplasmic pattern of MRCC, BCN, and CCH. This latter observation may be indicative of altered protein function or trafficking.