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Hum Pathol. 2003 Oct;34(10):994-1000.

Calretinin expression in human normal and neoplastic tissues: a tissue microarray analysis on 5233 tissue samples.

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Institute of Pathology, University of Basel, Switzerland.


Calretinin is a calcium-binding protein expressed in different normal and neoplastic tissues. Early studies suggested that calretinin is a useful marker to differentiate adenocarcinomas from malignant mesotheliomas of the lung, but subsequent work has shown that calretinin can be expressed in several other tumor types. To systematically investigate the epidemiology of calretinin expression in normal and neoplastic tissues, we used tissue microarrays (TMAs) to analyze the immunohistochemically detectable expression of calretinin in 5233 tissue samples from 128 different tumor categories and 76 different normal tissue types. At least 1 case with weak expression could be found in 74 of 128 (58%) different tumor types and 46 entities (36%) had at least 1 tumor with strong positivity. In normal tissues, a particularly strong expression was found in Leydig cells of the testis, neurons of the brain, theca-lutein and theca interna cells of the ovary, and mesothelium. In tumors, strong calretinin expression was most frequently found in malignant mesotheliomas (6 of 7), Leydig cell tumors of the testis (5 of 5), adenomas of adrenal gland (5 of 9), and adenomatoid tumors (4 of 9). In summary, calretinin is frequently expressed in many different tumor types. Metastases of various different origins must be included in the differential diagnosis of calretinin-positive pleura tumors.

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