Virchows Archiv B

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 185–193 | Cite as

Expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein by neoplastic cells of Müllerian origin

  • Shu Y. Liao
  • Ben H. Choi


Immunocytochemical studies of malignant mixed Müllerian tumors revealed the presence of neoplastic cells showing strong immunoreactivity for glial fibrillary acidic protein, a protein specific for astrocytes, in 9 of 13 cases. Undifferentiated malignant tumor cells of endometrial stromal sarcoma and astrocytes in glioma of the uterus also demonstrate GFAP immunoreactivity. GFAP immunostaining in these neoplastic cells is highly specific and shows no cross-reactivity with cytokeratin, actin, myoglobin, epithelial membrane antigen or factor VIII. It is postulated that the GFAP immunostaining within neoplastic cells of Müllerian origin may be (a) a reflection of the phenotypic diversity of intermediate filament proteins that can be expressed by malignant neoplastic cells, (b) that the polypeptides of GFAP may be heterogeneous, (c) that there may be an ontogenic relationship between the cells of Müllerian origin and neuroectodermal cells, or (d) that this may represent neometaplasia of Müllerian cells.

Key words

Immunocytochemistry Glial fibrillary acidic protein Malignant mixed Müllerian tumor 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Antanitus DS, Choi BH, Lapham LW (1976) The demonstration of glial fibrillary acidic protein in the cerebrum of the human fetus by indirect immunofluorescence. Brain Res 103:613–616PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bignami A, Eng LF, Dahl D, Uyeda T (1972) Localization of the glial fibrillary acidic protein in astrocytes by immunofluorescence. Brain Res 43:429–435PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Choi BH (1981) Radial glia of developing human fetal spinal cord: Golgi, immunohistochemical and electron microscopic study. Dev Brain Res 1:249–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Choi BH, Kim RC (1984) Expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein in immature oligodendroglia. Science 223:407–409PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Choi BH, Kim RC (1985) Expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein by immature oligodendroglia, and its implications. J Neuroimmunol 8:215–235PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Choi BH, Lapham LW (1978) Radial glia in the human fetal cerebrum: A combined Golgi, immunofluorescent and electron microscopic study. Brain Res 148:295–311PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Choi BH, Lapham LW (1980) Evolution of Bergmann glia in developing human fetal cerebellum: A Golgi, electron microscopic and immunofluorescent study. Brain Res 190:369–383PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dahl D, Bignami A (1973) Immunochemical and immunofluorescence studies of the glial fibrillary acidic protein in vertebrates. Brain Res 61:279–293PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dahl D, Chi NH, Miles LE, Nguyen BT, Bignami A (1982) Glial fibrillary acidic (GFA) protein in Schwann cells. J Histochem Cytochem 30:912–918PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Eng LF, deArmond SJ (1983) Immunochemistry of the glial fibrillary acidic protein. In: Zimmerman HM (ed) Progress in neuropathology. Raven Press, New York, pp 19–39Google Scholar
  11. Eng LF, Rubinstein LJ (1978) Contribution of immunohistochemistry to diagnostic problems of human cerebral tumors. J Histochem Cytochem 26:513–522PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Gard AL, White FP, Dutton GR (1982) GFAP in rat liver in Kupffer cells? Soc Neurosci (Abstr 8) 240Google Scholar
  13. Geisler N, Plessmann U, Weber K (1982) Related amino acid sequences in neurofilaments and non-neural intermediate filaments. Nature (Lond) 296:448–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gronroos M, Meurman L, Kahra K (1983) Proliferating glia and other heterotopic tissues in the uterus: Fetal homografts? Obstet Gynecol 61:261–266PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Hatfield JS, Skoff RP, Maisel H, Eng LF (1984) Glial fibrillary acidic protein is localized in the lens epithelium. J Cell Biol 98:1895–1898PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Higley HR, McNully JA, Rowder G (1984) Glial fibrillary acidic protein and S-100 protein in pineal supportive cells. An electron microscopic study. Brain Res 304:117–120PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hsu SM, Raine L, Fanger H (1981) Use of avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex (ABC) in immunoperoxidase techniques: A comparison between ABC and unlabeled antibody (PAP) procedures. J Histochem Cytochem 29:577–580PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Jessen KR, Mirsky R (1980) Glial cells in the enteric nervous system contain glial fibrillary acidic protein. Nature (Lond) 286:736–737CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jessen KR, Thorpe R, Mirsky R (1984) Molecular identity, distribution and heterogeneity of glial fibrillary acidic protein: an immunoblotting and immunohistochemical study of Schwann cells, satellite cells, enteric glia and astrocytes. J Neurocytol 13:187–200PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lewis SA, Balcarek JM, Krek V, Shelanski M, Cowan NJ (1984) Sequence of a cDNA clone encoding mouse glial fibrillary acidic protein: structural conservation of intermediate filaments. Proc Natl Acad Sci (USA) 8:2743–2746CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lowenthal A, Flament-Durand J, Karcher D, Noppe M, Brion JP (1982) Glial cells identified by anti-a-albumin (anti-GFA) in human Pineal gland. J Neurochem 38:863–865PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Luevano-Flores E, Sotelo J, Tena-Suck M (1985) Glial polyp (glioma) of the uterine cervix, report of a case with demonstration of glial fibrillary acidic protein. Gynecol Oncol 21:385–390PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Muller M, Ingild A, Bock E (1978) Immunohistochemical demonstration of S-100 protein and GFA protein in interstitial cells of rat pineal gland. Brain Res 140:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Nakazato Y, Ishizeki J, Takahashi K, Yamaguchi H, Kamei T, Morie T (1982) Localization of S-100 protein and glial fibrillary acidic protein-related antigen in pleomorphic adenoma of the salivary glands. Lab Invest 46:621–626PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Niven PAR, Stansfeld MB (1973) “Glioma” of the uterus: A fetal homograft. Am J Obstet Gynecol 115:534–538PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Paposozomenos SCh (1983) Glial fibrillary acidic (GFA) protein-containing cells in the human pineal gland. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 42:391–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pixley SKR, Kobayashi Y, deVellis J (1984) Monoclonal antibody to intermediate filament proteins in astrocytes. J Neurosci 12:525–541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pruss RM, Mirsky R, Raff MC, Thorpe R, Dowding AJ, Anderton BH (1981) All classes of intermediate filaments share a common antigenic determinant defined by a monoclonal antibody. Cell 27:419–426PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Regezi JA, Lloyd RV, Zarbo RJ, McClatchey KD (1985) Minor salivary gland tumors A histologic and immunohistochemical study. Cancer 55:108–115PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ribbert H (1904) Geschw Istlehre für Ärzte und Studierende, Bonn, cited by Young et al. (1981). Am J Surg Pathol 5:695–699Google Scholar
  31. Rocca AN, Guajardo M, Estrada WJ (1980) Glial polyp of the cervix and endometrium. Am J Clin Pathol 73:718–720Google Scholar
  32. Sheibani K, Tubbs RR (1984) Enzyme immunohistochemistry: Technical aspects. Semin Diag Pathol 1:235–250Google Scholar
  33. Steinert PM, Rice RH, Roop DR, Trus BL, Steven AC (1983) Complete amino acid sequence of a mouse epidermal keratin subunit and implications for the structure of intermediate filaments. Nature (Lond) 302:794–800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sternberger LA (1979) Immunocytochemistry. Wiley, New York, pp 104–169Google Scholar
  35. Suess U, Pliska V (1981) Identification of the pituicytes as astroglial cells by indirect immunofluorescence-staining for the glial fibrillary acidic protein. Brain Res 221:27–33PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Velasco ME, Roessmann U, Gambetti P (1982) The presence of glial fibrillary acidic protein in the human pituitary gland. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 41:150–163PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wang E, Cairncross JG, Liem RKH (1984) Identification of glial filament protein and vimentin in the same intermediate filament system in human glioma cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci (USA) 81:2102–2106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Young RH, Kleinman GM, Scully RE (1981) Glioma of the uterus. Report of a case with comments on histogenesis. Am J Surg Pathol 5:695–699PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zettergren L (1973) Glial tissue in the uterus. Am J Pathol 71:419–423PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shu Y. Liao
    • 1
  • Ben H. Choi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of California IrvineIrvineUSA

Personalised recommendations