Pediatric and developmental pathology : the official journal of the Society for Pediatric Pathology and the Paediatric Pathology Society

Is CRX protein a useful marker in differential diagnosis of tumors of the pineal region?

PMID 24555912


The cone-rod homeobox (CRX) is a gene that belongs to the member of the orthodenticle homeobox (Otx) family, with important function in development and differentiation of retinal and pineal cells. Moreover, CRX appears to be specifically expressed in pineal tumors and retinoblastomas. We performed an immunohistochemical study on 91 pediatric and adult central nervous system tumors, plus 2 normal brain samples. Our results demonstrated that CRX is expressed not only in pineal parenchymal tumors and retinoblastoma, but also in a some medulloblastomas and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors. None of the glial tumors screened were positive for CRX. In conclusion, CRX could be useful in surgical neuropathology for the differential diagnosis of pineal region tumors, in particular to discriminate pineal tumors from glial tumors.