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Virchows Arch. 1995;426(6):571-5.

Immunohistochemical features of the human retina and retinoblastoma.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Kansai Medical University, Osaka, Japan.


The immunohistochemical features of 24 retinoblastoma specimens from 22 patients, 15 with unilateral and 7 with bilateral disease, were examined by the labelled streptavidin biotin (LSAB) method and compared with those of specimens from the remaining morphologically normal retina. In the normal retina, S-100 protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin were detected in astrocytes and/or Müller cells. Neurofilament protein was seen in axons of the ganglion cells, synaptophysin was present in both plexiform layers, bcl-2 oncoprotein was seen in ganglion cells and bipolar cells, and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) was detected in ganglion cells, bipolar cells and photoreceptor cells and in their cell processes. While retinoblastoma (Rb) protein expression was noted in ganglion cells, bipolar cells, and some photoreceptor cells, p53 protein was not expressed at all. In all retinoblastomas, strong NSE expression and weak bcl-2 expression was observed in almost all tumour cells and synaptophysin was localized in rosette-forming cells, while tumour cells were devoid of S-100, GFAP, vimentin and neurofilament protein. These findings support the view that retinoblastomas are composed of neuron-committed cells. In addition, no Rb protein expression was detected in retinoblastomas, whereas p53 expression was found in 18 cases (75%).

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