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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1995 Aug;119(8):734-43.

Calbindin-D28k in subsets of medulloblastomas and in the human medulloblastoma cell line D283 Med.

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Neuropathology Laboratory, Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, PA 19102-1192, USA.



To evaluate the antigenic expression of calbindin-D28k in surgically resected cerebellar medulloblastomas and the human medulloblastoma cell line D283 Med in relation to glial neoplasms, the human glioblastoma (U-251 MG) and rat glioma (C-6) cell lines, and other primary and metastatic brain tumors.


Immunohistochemical staining was performed using an antiserum and a monoclonal antibody against calbindin-D28k on (1) formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded human, predominantly posterior fossa, brain tumor specimens (49 medulloblastomas, 59 glial and mesenchymal primary central nervous system tumors, 1 posterior fossa rhabdoid tumor, and 34 metastatic tumors); (2) formalin-70% alcohol-, or Bouin's-fixed tumor cell lines (D283 Med, U-251 MG, and C-6) maintained in a three-dimensional gelatin foam (Gelfoam matrix) system, with or without treatment with dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate; and (3) formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded C-6 glioma cells transplanted intracerebrally to rats.


Calbindin-D28k immunohistochemical staining was detected in 20 of 49 cerebellar medulloblastomas and in cells of the human medulloblastoma cell line D283 Med grown in gelatin Gelfoam matrices, with or without treatment with dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate. In surgical resection specimens, calbindin-D28k reactivity was evident in populations of poorly differentiated cells of classic (non-nodular) medulloblastomas (16/20) and in mature Purkinje neuronlike phenotypes in medulloblastomas with ganglion cells (4/6) but was absent in desmoplastic medulloblastomas, including in areas of neoplastic neuritogenesis ("pale islands") (0/23). Calbindin-D28k staining was also present in D283 Med explants for up to 29 days in vitro. Reactivity was more widespread in dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate-treated cultures, coinciding with neuronal morphologic alterations of cultured cells. Focal calbindin-D28k stainig was present in neural-like cells of an embryonal cerebellar tumor with divergent mesenchymal, epithelial, and neuroectodermal/neuroendocrine differentiation suggestive of a malignant rhabdoid tumor. No calbindin-D28k staining was obtained in primary glial and mesenchymal (intra- and extra-axial) brain tumors (0/59), in explants of human glioblastoma cell line U-251 MG, or in the rat glioma line C-6 maintained in Gelfoam matrices or transplanted intracerebrally. Among 34 epithelial and mesenchymal tumors metastatic to the posterior fossa, only subpopulations of cells in two small-cell (neuroendocrine) carcinomas originating in the lung were calbindin positive.


Calbindin-D28k expression in classic medulloblastomas, medulloblastomas with ganglion cells, and in the human medulloblastoma cell line D283 Med (which was derived from a metastatic classic medulloblastoma) suggests a phenotypic kinship between subsets of this tumor and neuronal progeny of the ventricular neuroepithelium, thus conferring additional support for its neuroblastic nature.

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