Craniopharyngiomas are benign epithelial tumors of congenital malformative origin. They are thought to originate, though this is still under debate, from remnants of Rathke’s pouch, which is a protrusion of the roof of the stomodeum or primitive oral cavity (Russell and Rubinstein 1977). These remnants, called Erdheim’s remnants (hence the name Erdheim’s tumor) are often found in the pituitary stalk, in the sellar, parasellar location or even in the sphenoid bone. Tachibana et al. (1994) have recently demonstrated by immunohistochemical study that in the cells of the adenohypophysis and in craniopharyngiomas glycoprotein P (PGP) present in the cytotrophoblast and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) are coexpressed. These data suggest that craniopharyngiomas produce HCG-like peptides; therefore they can be considered the only squamocellular tumors that, in the sellar region, originate from neuroendocrine precursors.
KeywordsHuman Chorionic Gonadotropin Pilocytic Astrocytoma Pituitary Stalk Frontal Section Secretory Component
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