The Histochemical journal

Fetuin in human bone marrow: detection in foetal tissue and patients with mastocytosis.

PMID 11931384


Fetuin, a foetal protein of unknown function, has been shown to be expressed in both the immune and nervous systems, especially during development. Here, we show for the first time, that fetuin is abundantly present in many cells of the foetal human bone marrow, but is restricted to cells of the monocytic lineage in the adult. Fetuin's immunoreactivity increased considerably in adult human bone marrow in some pathological conditions, particularly in mastocytosis and was also increased in bone marrows in some cases of acute leukaemias, especially in acute myeloid leukaemia. This increase in the presence of fetuin in neoplastic bone marrows is not reflected by an increased level of circulating fetuin. This last observation contradicts earlier suggestions that fetuin is specifically reduced in cancer patients. A consistent increase in fetuin immunoreactivity in bone marrow of most cases of mastocytosis, as demonstrated in this paper, could become a useful tool in the diagnosis of this disease.

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