Intestinal-type metaplasia in the original squamous epithelium of the cervix
There have been a number of reports on cervical carcinomas, both invasive and intraepithelial (CIN III), indicating the presence of intracellular mucins in the absence of glandular differentiation. Yet, the expression of such cells in the normal/original squamous epithelium of the cervix remains unexplored. We investigated the presence of mucin-distended goblet cells at this site, after examining retrospectively normal cervices from 250 hysterectomy specimens. Goblet cells were detected in 3.2% (8/250) of the cervices examined using haematoxylin and eosin stained sections and confirmed by mucin histochemistry: alcian blue (AB) pH 2.5, periodic acid-Schiff reaction with and without diastase digestion (PAS-d, PAS) and the combined AB/PAS. Additional sections were stained with Diazo and Masson-Fontana for argentaffin granules and Grimelius for argyrophil cells, but were all negative and no other cell types were identified. It is believed that this incomplete type of intestinal metaplasia is an acquired change in the cervix, derived from multi-potential stem cells of Müllerian duct origin.
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