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Brain Tumor Pathol. 2010 Apr;27(1):17-21. doi: 10.1007/s10014-009-0261-0. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Nestin expression in astrocytic tumors delineates tumor infiltration.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Fukui University, Matsuoka, Yoshida-gun, Fukui 910-1193, Japan.


Nestin is an intermediate filament protein expressed in undifferentiated cells during central nervous system development, and glioma is known to be a highly infiltrative tumor. We determined whether nestin was expressed in astrocytic tumors and could identify infiltrating tumor cells. We screened 65 archival, paraffin-embedded adult astrocytic tumors using immunohistochemical staining and computerized overlaid photographs. Normal biopsied brains and metastatic brain tumors were also examined. The intensity of nestin expression corresponded to the tumor grade. All 33 glioblastoma cases showed positive and extensive staining, which was less positive in diffuse astrocytoma. Overlaid images showed that nestin immunostaining delineated tumor invasion into adjacent gray and white matter. Nestin is a useful marker for examining the infiltration of malignant cells into surrounding tissue.

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