Endocrine Pathology

, 6:45 | Cite as

Proliferation markers and EGF in ACTH-secreting adenomas and carcinomas of the pituitary

  • Dorothee Lübke
  • Wolfgang Saeger
  • Dieter K. Lüdecke
Clinical Research


Pituitary carcinomas are only defined by their metastatic growth, which may be intracranial or systemic. To establish further morphological and immunohistochemical differences between pituitary carcinomas and adenomas, 19 ACTH-secreting adenomas (10 noninvasive and 9 invasive) and 2 ACTH-secreting carcinomas with their metastases were studied for expression of the intermediate filaments keratin and vimentin and the tumor-associated antigens Ki67, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), epidermal growth factor (EGF), cathepsin D, p53, and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). Immunohistochemistry was performed using avidin-biotin techniques on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue.

With the exception of one noninvasive pituitary adenoma, one carcinoma, and the metastases, all tumors contained keratin; none contained vimentin. All tumors stained negative for CEA and p53. Eleven (58.5%) adenomas and both pituitary carcinomas contained Ki67-positive nuclei; 14 (74%) adenomas and one carcinoma revealed PCNA. No correlation was found between the two markers. Seven (38%) adenomas showed a labeling index <1% for cathepsin D, whereas none of the carcinomas or metastases did so. EGF was found in 7 (38%) adenomas and in both carcinomas. A tendency to a higher rate of EGF positivity in the invasive adenomas was observed. The metastases showed a higher labeling index, and far more intense staining results for Ki67, PCNA, and EGF than the primary tumor The metastases also had a higher proliferation rate and growth factor content than the carcinoma itself.

Key Words

ACTH adenomas pituitary carcinoma proliferation marker EGF 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothee Lübke
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Saeger
    • 1
  • Dieter K. Lüdecke
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pathology of the Marienkrankenhaus HamburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Neurosurgery of the University of HamburgGermany

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