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J Pathol. 1991 Jun;164(2):145-50.

Expression of different cytokeratin subclasses in human chordoma.

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Department of Pathology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


A detailed immunohistochemical characterization of different cytokeratin subclasses was performed on frozen tumour tissue from three classical chordomas. Simple epithelium cytokeratins Nos 8, 18, and 19 were detected in all tumour cells while cytokeratin No. 7 was not found. Cytokeratins characteristic of squamous differentiation, including keratinization, were generally lacking, with the exception of the varying expression of cytokeratin No. 4. Vimentin was found in all the tumours, while they lacked desmin immunoreactivity. The present study indicates the co-expression of vimentin and cytokeratins, predominantly of the simple epithelium type. In addition, chordoma cells have the ability to express cytokeratins characteristic of squamous differentiation. This finding corresponds well to the electron microscopic findings of tonofilament bundles ending in well-developed desmosomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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