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Modern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc

Inhibin A is a sensitive and specific marker for testicular sex cord-stromal tumors.


PMID 9720507

Abstract

We compared the expression of inhibin A, chromogranin, synaptophysin, S-100 protein, cytokeratins AE1/AE3, 7, and 20, and estrogen and progesterone receptors in testicular sex cord-stromal tumors: 11 Sertoli cell tumors, 3 Sertoli cell adenomas (nodules), 26 benign Leydig cell tumors, 7 malignant Leydig cell tumors (defined clinically by metastatic behavior), and a variety of germ cell tumors. Inhibin was the most sensitive marker, expressed in 91% of the Sertoli cell tumors and 100% of the Sertoli cell adenomas and Leydig cell tumors. The non-neoplastic Sertoli and Leydig cells invariably stained for inhibin. Conversely, no germ cell tumors were immunoreactive. One testicular tumor of the adrenogenital syndrome was immunoreactive. Neuroendocrine marker immunoreactivity was variable. Chromogranin was expressed in the non-neoplastic Sertoli and Leydig cells, 82% of the Sertoli cell tumors, 92% of the benign Leydig cell tumors, and 43% of the malignant Leydig cell tumors. Synaptophysin was expressed in the non-neoplastic Sertoli and Leydig cells, 45% of the Sertoll cell tumors, and 70% of the Leydig cell tumors, in approximately similar proportions between the benign and malignant Leydig cell tumors. S-100 protein was expressed in 64% of the Sertoli cell tumors, 8% of the benign Leydig cell tumors, and none of the malignant Leydig cell tumors. Cytokeratins AE1/AE3 were expressed in 64% of the Sertoli cell tumors and 42% of the Leydig cell tumors, with similar proportions in the benign and malignant cases. Estrogen and progesterone receptor expression were identified in 24 and 39% of benign and malignant Leydig cell tumors, respectively. We conclude that inhibin is a characteristic marker for Sertoli and Leydig cells and that it serves to differentiate testicular sex cord-stromal tumors from germ cell tumors.