Reduced myofilament component in primary Sjögren’s syndrome salivary gland myoepithelial cells

Margherita Sisto, Loredana Lorusso, Giuseppe Ingravallo, Roberto Tamma, Beatrice Nico, Domenico Ribatti, Simona Ruggieri, Sabrina Lisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) is a solitary poorly understood autoimmune inflammatory disease by involvement of the salivary and lacrimal glands resulting in dry mouth and dry eyes. Myoepithelial cells (MECs) are cells knowing for its hybrid epithelial and mesenchymal phenotype that are important components of the salivary gland (SGs) structure aiding the expulsion of saliva from acinar lobules. In this study we investigate possible alteration in the myofilament component of MECs in SGs specimens obtained from pSS patients in comparison with healthy subjects, to evaluate MECs hypothetical involvement in the pathogenesis of pSS. The expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and p63, as MECs markers, was evaluated in bioptic specimens from pSS and healthy labial SGs through immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence analyses; the distribution of MECs markers was quantified using Aperio ScanScope and ImageScope software to provide quantitative assessments of staining levels. Our observations demonstrated that p63 nuclear labeling in pSS MECs is preserved whereas α-SMA cytoplasmic staining is strongly and significantly reduced when compared with healthy SGs; the digital images analysis quantification of the expression of labeled α-SMA and p63 protein in the healthy and pSS MECs salivary tissues, led to results suggesting a loss of mechanical support for acini and ducts in pSS, correlated, probably, with the reduction of salivary flow that features one important aspect of pSS disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular Histology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 4 2018


  • Myoepithelial cells
  • P63
  • Salivary glands
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • α-SMA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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