Synaptophysin: A sensitive and specific marker for ganglion cells in central nervous system neoplasms

Rita and Stanley Kaplan Cancer Center, Department of Pathology, New York University Medical Center, NY 10016.
Human Pathlogy (Impact Factor: 2.81). 04/1990; 21(3):271-6. DOI: 10.1016/0046-8177(90)90080-O
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Synaptophysin, a 38-kilodalton glycoprotein found in synaptic vesicle membranes, has been shown to be a sensitive marker of neuroendocrine differentiation in non-central nervous system (CNS) tumors. We analyzed the patterns of synaptophysin immunoreactivity in CNS neoplasms in comparison with various normal CNS sites in biopsies. Normal gray matter structures all showed a diffuse punctate granular pattern of neuropil staining without staining of neuronal cell bodies. In contrast, neoplastic ganglion cells in 18 of 18 gangliogliomas/gangliocytomas showed intense immunoreactivity outlining the borders of the cell bodies. Focal staining was also seen in five of 16 primitive neuroectodermal tumors and in one of three central neurocytomas, but these tumors had a finely granular neuropil pattern of immunoreactivity more like that of normal gray matter than like that of the gangliogliomas. All 35 examples of pure gliomas of various types showed no immunoreactivity. Our data highlight synaptophysin as a sensitive and specific marker of both neuronal lineage and neoplastic character in gangliogliomas.

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