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Pathol Int. 2009 Feb;59(2):86-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1827.2008.02333.x.

Actin expression in neural crest cell-derived tumors including schwannomas, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, neurofibromas and melanocytic tumors.

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Institute of Pathology, First Faculty of Medicine and General Teaching Hospital, Charles University, Studnickova 2, Prague, Czech Republic.


Tumors that originate from neural crest-derived cells represent a heterogeneous group of neoplasms including benign and malignant tumors with melanocytic and schwannian differentiation. The immunophenotype of these tumors is well known but little is known about the expression of smooth muscle/myofibroblastic markers in these tumors. A total of 590 neural crest-derived tumors (50 benign schwannomas, five malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, 80 neurofibromas, 240 nevocytic nevi, 115 primary melanomas, and 100 melanoma metastases) were studied with respect to alpha-smooth muscle actin and muscle-specific actin expression. alpha-Smooth muscle actin and muscle-specific actin-positive tumor cells with a co-expression of S-100 protein were found in one benign schwannoma, one primary cutaneous melanoma, and four melanoma metastases. Four of these cases were examined ultrastructurally, but typical actin filaments with focal densities were not found in any of the four. Other immunohistochemical markers examined including desmin, h-caldesmon and smooth muscle myosin heavy chain were negative in the tumor cells. The present results suggest that neural crest-derived tumors could show expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin on rare occasion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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