Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples of canine amelanotic melanomas and normal canine tissues were studied immunohistochemically for the presence of S100 protein. Use of the avidin-biotin complex procedure demonstrated variable amounts of S100 protein in the tumor cell cytoplasm and nuclei in 26 of 31 tumors. S100 protein was not observed in some other common canine skin tumors stained by the avidin-biotin complex technique. These were a mast cell tumor, fibrosarcoma, mammary gland adenocarcinoma, histiocytoma, transmissible venereal tumor, and a thyroid gland adenocarcinoma. Among normal tissues the presence of S100 protein was demonstrated in chondrocytes in the trachea, myoepithelial cells in the breast, melanocytes in the skin, some sweat glands and ducts in the skin, stellate cells in the pituitary, and interdigitating reticulum cells in the lymph node and in Peyer's patches. These results indicate that the avidin-biotin complex procedure for demonstrating S100 protein is a useful diagnostic tool in the diagnosis of canine amelanotic melanoma.
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