CD10 is a single-chain cell surface glycoprotein, 90-110 kDa, also designated common acute lymhoblastic leukaemia antigen (CALLA), neprilysin and neutral endopeptidase. CD10 is a zink-dependent peptidase (metalloprotease), degrading various bioactive peptides. CD10 plays a functional role by modulating cellular responses to peptide substrates. CD10 is present on the cell surface of bone marrow stem cells and myelopoietic cells (including neutrophils), follicular centre cells, few mature B-lymphocytes, and a subpopulation of parafollicular T-lymphocytes. CD10 is also found in enterocytes in the upper part of the intestinal tract (brush border), in liver (bile canaliculi), kidney (glomerular and proximal tubular cells), pulmonary alveolar cells, myoepithelial cells of breast and sweat and salivary glands, prostate glandular cells, placental trophoblastic cells, endometrial stromal cells, some endothelial cells, and a minority of (myo-)fibroblasts (including skin periadnexal cells). In apocrine metaplasia of the breast, CD10 is also detected in the glands.


CD10 is expressed in most cases of precursor B lymphoblastic leukaemia/lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and Burkitt lymphoma. CD10 is found in some cases of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma while small lymphocytic lymphoma, marginal zone lymphoma, and lymphoplasmacytoid lymphoma are negative. CD10 has been demonstrated in most cases of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, while peripheral T-cells lymphomas are CD10 negative. Precursor T lymphoblastic leukaemia/lymphoma may be CD10 positive. Myeloid leukaemias are almost always CD10 negative. However, lymphoid blast crisis in myelogenic leukaemia reveals CD10 positivity. Among non-haematolymphoid neoplasms, CD10 is found in almost all cases of endometrial stromal sarcoma, in most cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (distinct canalicular pattern), renal cell carcinoma (clear cell and papillary types, but not chromophobic type), urothelial carcinoma (particularly high grade), prostate carcinoma, solid-pseudopapillary tumour of pancreas, and in some cases of carcinomas other than the above mentioned such as colorectal carcinoma (associated with an aggressive growth pattern). In a number of breast carcinomas, the stromal cells around the infiltrating tumour cells express CD10 (which may signify a worse prognosis). Ductal and lobular breast carcinoma is rarely CD10 positive, while metaplastic breast carcinoma is often positive (unpublished observations). CD10 has also been detected in a varying proportion of rhabdomyosarcoma, leiomyosarcoma and other sarcomas, schwannoma and malignant melanoma.


CD10 is particularly useful in the classification of B-cell leukaemias/lymphomas (see above) and classification of carcinomas (identification of hepatocellular carcinoma and renal cell carcinoma). CD10 may be used in the identification of metaplastic breast carcinoma, prognostication of breast carcinoma, and classification of uterine mesenchymal neoplasms (identification of stromal sarcoma).


Tonsil is recommended as positive and negative tissue control for CD10. Virtually all the germinal centre B-cells must show an at least moderate but distinct membranous staining reaction, which should be identified even at low power magnification (4x). It must be emphasized that the individual germinal center B-cells are clearly outlined showing the contours of the membranes and not showing a diffuse, indistinct staining reaction of the B-cells. The mantle zone B-cells and squamous epithelial cells must be negative. Scattered neutrophil granulocytes must display an at least weak staining reaction.

Selected references

Bavikatty NR, Ross CW, Finn WG, Schnitzer B, Singleton TP. Anti-CD10 immunoperoxidase staining of paraffin-embedded acute leukemias: comparison with flow cytometric immunophenotyping. Hum Pathol. 2000 Sep;31(9):1051-4. Borscheri N, Roessner A, Rocken C. Canalicular immunostaining of neprilysin (CD10) as a diagnostic marker for hepatocellular carcinomas. Am J Surg Pathol. 2001 Oct;25(10):1297-303. Chu P, Arber DA. Paraffin-section detection of CD10 in 505 nonhematopoietic neoplasms. Frequent expression in renal cell carcinoma and endometrial stromal sarcoma. Am J Clin Pathol 2000 Mar;113(3):374-82. Iwase T, Kushima R, Mukaisho K, Mitsufuji S, Okanoue T, Hattori T. Overexpression of CD10 and reduced MUC2 expression correlate with the development and progression of colorectal neoplasms. Pathol Res Pract. 2005;201(2):83-91. Iwaya K, Ogawa H, Izumi M, Kuroda M, Mukai K. Stromal expression of CD10 in invasive breast carcinoma: a new predictor of clinical outcome. Virchows Arch. 2002 Jun;440(6):589-93. Jaffe ES, Harris NL, Stein H, Vardiman JW (Eds.) WHO Classification of Tumours. Pathology and Genetics of Tumours of Haematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues. Lyon, IARC Press 2001. McCluggage WG. Recent advances in immunohistochemistry in gynaecological pathology. Histopathology 2002 Apr;40(4):309-26. Murali R, Delprado W. CD10 immunohistochemical staining in urothelial neoplasms. Am J Clin Pathol. 2005 Sep;124(3):371-9. Pan CC, Chen PC, Tsay SH, Ho DM. Differential immunoprofiles of hepatocellular carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma, and adrenocortical carcinoma: a systemic immunohistochemical survey using tissue array technique. Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2005 Dec;13(4):347-52. Rocken C, Licht J, Roessner A, Carl-McGrath S. Canalicular immunostaining of aminopeptidase N (CD13) as a diagnostic marker for hepatocellular carcinoma. J Clin Pathol. 2005 Oct;58(10):1069-75. Yaziji H, Gown AM.Immunohistochemical analysis of gynecologic tumors. Int J Gynecol Pathol 2001 Jan;20(1):64-78 West RB, Warnke RA, Natkunam Y. The usefulness of immunohistochemistry in the diagnosis of follicular lymphoma in bone marrow biopsy specimens. Am J Clin Pathol. 2002 Apr;117(4):636-43.

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