Nevi with architectural disorder and cytologic atypia of melanocytes (NAD) (also called dysplastic nevi) have been controversial with regard to their relationship with melanoma risk and to their gradation in 3 degrees of atypia. Versican and the melanoma-associated proteoglycan (mel-CSPG) are 2 major proteoglycans expressed by malignant melanoma, and they have a role in the regulation of cell adhesion, migration, and differentiation. We evaluated the differences in versican and mel-CSPG expression in nevi, NAD with several degrees of atypia, and primary malignant melanoma. Immunoreactivity for versican was negative in benign melanocytic nevi, positive in NAD (ranging from weakly to intensely positive), and intensely positive in malignant melanoma. Immunostaining for mel-CSPG was negative in benign melanocytic nevi and mild to moderately positive in NAD and melanoma. Our results suggest that versican expression may be of value for distinguishing NAD from benign melanocytic nevi and for distinguishing severe NAD from mild and moderate NAD.
- Dysplastic nevus