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J Clin Invest. Jul 1988; 82(1): 177–188.
PMCID: PMC303492

Immunohistochemical localization of apolipoprotein E in human glial neoplasms.

Abstract

Immunocytochemical analyses revealed the presence and distribution of apolipoprotein E (apo E) in normal human brain tissue as well as in 77 human intracranial neoplasms. In normal brain tissues, the perikarya of astrocytes exhibited a strong positive reaction, whereas the Bergmann glia were stained to a moderate degree. However, no immunoreactivity was observed with neurons, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells, and choroidal epithelium. Among the intracranial neoplasms, oligodendroglioma, choroid plexus papilloma, hemangioblastoma, primary malignant lymphoma, neurinoma, meningioma, pituitary adenoma, and craniopharyngioma were all negative. Immunoreactivity in the peripheral neuroblastoma was nil. However, the perikarya of astrocytomas and glioblastomas showed a positive reaction. Analyses on the degree of anaplasia and the amount of apo-E as an intensity of immunostaining showed a negative correlation. The astrocytic elements were stained in mixed oligoastrocytomas and medulloblastomas with glial differentiation. A few cases of ependymomas showed weak perikaryal immunostaining. Western blot analyses with anti-apo E antibody of a freshly prepared surgical specimen with astrocytomas revealed a single band with a molecular weight of approximately 37,000. The well differentiated cultured human astrocytoma cells secreted apo E into the medium. These lines of evidence suggest that apo E may serve as a potential marker specific for astrocytomas and glioblastomas, as well as an indicator of astrocytic tumor cell differentiation. The apo E localization in human brain tumors could be clinically relevant and diagnostically useful.

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Selected References

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