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Vet Pathol. 2008 Sep;45(5):654-62. doi: 10.1354/vp.45-5-654.

Characterization of uterine granular cell tumors in B6C3F1 mice: a histomorphologic, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural study.

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Cellular and Molecular Pathology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, PO Box 12233, MD C2-09, 111 T.W. Alexander Drive, Bldg. 101, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 (USA).


The granular cell tumor is most often a benign neoplasm of uncertain origin. Four uterine granular cell tumors in control and treated female B6C3F1 mice were identified in chronic studies at the National Toxicology Program. Two tumors occurred in untreated control animals and 2 in treated animals receiving different compounds. Tissue sections were evaluated histologically and stained with hematoxylin and eosin, periodic acid-Schiff with diastase resistance, Masson's trichrome, toluidine blue, phosphotungstic acid-hematoxylin, and stained immunohistochemically with a panel of antibodies to muscle (desmin, alpha smooth muscle actin), neural (S-100, neuron specific enolase), epithelial (wide-spectrum cytokeratin), and macrophage (F4/80) markers. The main histomorphologic feature of tumor cells was the presence of abundant cytoplasmic eosinophilic granules that stained positive for periodic acid-Schiff with diastase resistance. Tumors varied in appearance and were comprised of sheets and nests of round to polygonal cells with distinct borders. Nuclei were hyperchromatic, pleomorphic, and centrally to eccentrically located and often contained single nucleoli. Occasional multinucleated giant cells were observed. Tumors were pale pink and homogeneous with trichrome stain and negative with toluidine blue. Three tumors had positive to weakly positive immunoreactivity for desmin, and 1 was positive for alpha smooth muscle actin. Expression of S-100, wide-spectrum cytokeratin, and neuron-specific enolase was negative for all tumors. Ultrastructurally, prominent electron-dense cytoplasmic granules were abundant and contained secondary lysosomes with heterogeneous lysosomal contents. The characteristics of these uterine granular cell tumors were suggestive of a myogenic origin.

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