Divergent differentiation in pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma: Evidence for a neuronal element and possible relationship to ganglion cell tumors

Suzanne Z. Powell, Anthony T. Yachnis, Lucy B. Rorke, Amyn M. Rojiani, Thomas A. Eskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

108 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the detection of cytoplasmic immunoreactivity for neuronal/neuroendocrine antigens in a subpopulation of tumor cells within seven pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas (PXAs). The expression of glial and neuronal polypeptides was examined in routinely prepared surgical resections by immunohistochemistry using well-characterized antibodies that recognize glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), synaptophysin (SYN), and neurofilament triplet polypeptides (NFPs) in microwave enhanced single- and double-immunolabelling experiments. Each neoplasm contained cells that were immunoreactive for SYN and/or NFPs, GFAP, and occasionally for both GFAP and either NFP or SYN. We conclude that abortive neuronal/neuroendocrine differentiation may occur in PXAs, suggesting a relationship between PXA and other developmental neoplasms that reveal a more overt neuronal phenotype, such as ganglioglioma, dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor, and desmoplastic ganglioglioma, and with tumors expressing ambiguous glial/neuronal lineage, such as the subependymal giant cell tumor of tuberous sclerosis. These findings suggest that aberrant expression and accumulation of neuronal intermediate filaments may account for the large, pleomorphic cell morphology observed in many of these tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-85
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Double immunolabelling
  • Neurofilament protein
  • Synaptophysin
  • Xanthoastrocytoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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