Virchows Archiv B

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 397–406 | Cite as

Ultrastructural localization of hCG in the placenta and in testicular germ cell tumors

  • Shojiroh Morinaga
  • Naoji Haga
  • Nobuaki Sasano


Human chorionic gonadotrophin(hCG)-producing cells in the human placenta and in testicular germ cell tumors have been investigated by ultrastructural immunohistochemistry using labeled Fab’fragments of anti-hCG-α and anti-hCG-β. Most reaction products were demonstrated in the rough endoplasmic reticulum (rER) and perinuclear spaces of syncytiotrophoblastic giant cells (STGC) occurring in embryonal carcinomas and in syncytial cells observed in choriocarcinomas and in normal placenta. The rER of placental and choriocarcinomatous syncytial cells was highly developed and invariably showed a positive reaction. However, the rER of STGCs varied both with regard to its degree of development and its immunoreactivity with hCG. Localization of hCG in the Golgi apparatus and in cytoplasmic granules was indefinite.

Mononuclear cells reacting positively with anti-hCG-α or -β were also demonstrated. Cytotrophoblast-like cells which failed to react with anti-hCG-α or -β were noted adjacent to STGCs and the significance of these cells is discussed.

Key words

Placenta Germ cell tumors Human chorionic gonadotrophin Immunohistochemistry Ultrastructure 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shojiroh Morinaga
    • 1
  • Naoji Haga
    • 1
  • Nobuaki Sasano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyTohoku University, School of MedicineSendaiJapan

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