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Exp Neurol. 2002 Mar;174(1):89-95.

Nestin expression in ganglioglioma.

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Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, Division of Neurosurgery, London, Ontario N6A 5C1, Canada.


It has been suggested that gangliogliomas represent a neoplastic transformation of a dysplastic focus or heterotopia. Other theories propose that gangliogliomas arise from multipotent stem cells with the ability to differentiate along glial and neuronal cell lines. Our goal was to characterize the expression of nestin, a neuroepithelial precursor/stem cell antigen, in gangliogliomas along with other pathological and clinical features of this entity. The clinical and operative features of 18 recent cases meeting the histological criteria for ganglioglioma were reviewed. The expression of nestin, microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2), neurofilament, and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was assessed by immunohistochemistry and confocal scanning laser microscopy. Abundant MAP2- and nestin-positive neuronal cells were found by immunohistochemistry in all 18 gangliogliomas. GFAP staining was found in reactive and lesional astrocytes but not in cells of neuronal morphology. Confocal microscopy demonstrated colocalization of nestin and MAP2 in select neuronal cells. The true lineage of gangliogliomas remains controversial. Our findings confirm the presence of cells within these lesions that harbor a persistent stem cell cytoskeletal protein (nestin). Further insight into the cytoskeletal derangement of nestin-positive neuronal cells may shed further light on the pathogenesis of gangliogliomas and its associated epilepsy.

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