ALDH+/CD44+/CD24- expression in cells from body cavity fluids

Awtar Krishan, Deepti Sharma, Siddharth Sharma, Ronald M. Hamelik, Parvin Ganjei-Azar, Mehrdad Nadji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Enhanced expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) and phenotypic markers (CD44+/CD24-) in stem cells from breast tumors has been reported. This study was undertaken to monitor expression of these markers in cells from body cavity fluids of female patients suspected to have a malignancy. Methods: Cells from peritoneal and pleural fluids of 100 female patients were examined by diagnostic cytology and analyzed by laser flow cytometry for enhanced ALDH1 expression. Cells from 36 body cavity fluids with ALDH1bright fluorescence were then analyzed for the expression of CD44 and CD24 markers. Results: In samples positive for malignancy, ALDH1 bright cells with both SSClow and SSChigh were seen. In 15 body cavity fluids positive for malignancy, the percentage of ALDH1bright cells ranged from 0.26 to 6.34% of the total cells. The percentage of ALDH1bright cells with CD44+/CD24 - expression in these samples ranged from 0.02 to 3.66%. ALDH1 bright cells with CD44+/CD24- expression were also present in body cavity fluids of patients in whom diagnostic cytology could not detect any malignancy. However, the percentage of ALDH1bright and CD44+/CD24- cells amongst the 21 body cavity fluids with negative cytology was lower than that of samples with malignancy. Conclusions: Expression of ALDH1bright and the CD44 +/CD24- phenotype in body cavity fluids in which diagnostic cytology could not find any malignant cells suggests that this phenotype may not be restricted to the putative breast tumor stem cells. It is possible that only subsets of cells with this phenotype are the putative breast tumor stem cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-182
Number of pages7
JournalCytometry Part B - Clinical Cytometry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Aldehyde dehydrogenase
  • Body cavity fluids
  • Flow cytometry
  • Stem cell markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Histology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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