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Virchows Arch. 2005 Sep;447(3):603-9. Epub 2005 Jun 21.

Gonadoblastoma: evidence for a stepwise progression to dysgerminoma in a dysgenetic ovary.

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Institute of Pathology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


Gonadoblastomas are neoplasms of dysgenetic gonads which may undergo regression or become overgrown by malignant germ cell tumors (mGCTs). Since little is known about their relationship to normal gonadal development and mGCTs, we studied the phenotype and antigenic profile of gonadoblastomas in comparison with adjacent dysgerminomas and fetal gonads. Three cases of gonadoblastomas and fetal gonads of both sexes were analyzed using oncofetal markers to M2A-antigen (M2A), germ cell alkaline phosphatase (PLAP/GCAP), receptor tyrosine kinase c-kit (c-kit), and somatic angiotensin converting enzyme (sACE) as well as the proliferation marker MIB-1. Morphologically, microfollicular pattern of gonadoblastomas showed a fetal germ cell organization reminiscent of oocytic clusters of fetal ovaries. They contained both cell types, similar to oocytes (M2A-, GCAP-, c-kit+/-, sACE-) and oogonia (M2A+, GCAP+, c-kit+, sACE+). The percentage of germ cells immunoreactive for oncofetal markers and the proliferation index increased from microfollicular over coronary patterns to adjacent dysgerminomas. Supportive cells of gonadoblastomas showed a uniform phenotype (CK18+, vimentin+, sACE+, alpha-inhibin+, M2A-) but in contrast to fetal germ cells lacked a clear equivalence to fetal tissues. Our results show that gonadoblastomas mimic female fetal ovary and exhibit a stepwise progression from follicular pattern to coronary pattern and finally to dysgerminomas.

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