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Endocrine Pathology

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 145–150 | Cite as

The immunophenotype of pituitary adenomas

  • Ricardo V. Lloyd
  • Bernd W. Scheithauer
  • Kalman Kovacs
  • Patrick C. Roche
Clinical Research

Abstract

Although the production of pituitary hormones by adenohypophysial tumors has been studied extensively, an examination of the immunophenotype of pituitary adenomas using a broad spectrum of antibodies has not been previously investigated. We studied 23 pituitary adenomas using a large panel of antibodies to determine if these tumors exhibited a common immunophenotype. Various neuroendocrine markers, synaptophysin, neuron-specific enolase (NSE), and the intermediate filament protein, low-mol-wt keratin were expressed in most examples. There was, however, differential expression of chromogranin A in that few prolactin (PRL) and adenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) adenomas stained positively, whereas all other adenoma subtypes were reactive. The ACTH adenomas had a unique profile with positive staining for galanin, neurophysin, vasopressin, and ubiquitin. These results indicate that (1) pituitary adenomas do not express a single “generic” immunophenotype; (2) synaptophysin is the most reliable and best broad spectrum marker for pituitary adenomas; (3) the neuroendocrine granule marker chromogranin A is useful in the identification of null cell adenoma, a tumor that usually does not stain for anterior pituitary tumors; and (4) among pituitary tumors, ACTH adenomas have a unique immunoprofile.

Key Words

Pituitary gland immunostaining adenomas 

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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo V. Lloyd
    • 1
  • Bernd W. Scheithauer
    • 1
  • Kalman Kovacs
    • 2
  • Patrick C. Roche
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Laboratory Medicine and PathologyMayo Clinic and Mayo FoundationRochester
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, St. Michael’s HospitalUniversity of TorontoCanada

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