Adhesion molecules play a role in tumor growth, invasiveness, and the metastatic process. The expression of CD44 adhesion molecules in 11 intracranial germinoma specimens was investigated using anti-CD44 monoclonal antibody and immunohistochemical methods. In six of 11 specimens studied, CD44 antibodies were bound to the membrane of tumor cells; in five of six specimens, CD44 antigen was also present in the cytoplasm of tumor cells. The only three patients who showed CD44-positive expression in tumor cells, lymphocytes, and extracellular matrix (ECM) exhibited either cerebrospinal fluid dissemination or multiple tumors at different locations. In all 11 specimens, no expression of CD44 in normal glial cells or capillary endothelium was detected. According to the authors' findings, the expression of CD44 in intracranial germinomas is similar to that of gonadal seminomas. Analysis of the results further suggests the possibility that the expression of CD44 in intracranial germinoma tumor cells, lymphocytes, and ECM may contribute to tumor cell migration, adhesion to cerebrospinal fluid dissemination, and/or multiple tumor locations.
Tzuu-Yuan Huang, Jun-ichi Kuratsu, Hideo Takeshima, Toru Nishi and Yukitaka Ushio
Masaji Murakami, Jun-ichi Kuratsu, Masato Kochi, Naoko Kunitoku, Akihito Hashiguchi and Yukitaka Ushio
The authors report on two cases of pineal germinomas with granulomatous inflammation (granulomatous germinomas). Macroscopically, both tumors were relatively hard and grayish in color. Histological examination revealed a germinoma with multinucleated giant cells and Schaumann bodies in one case, and a germinoma with the background of acellular fibrillated matrix in the other. On immunohistochemical analysis, the granulomatous germinomas were shown to contain many macrophages, T- and B-lymphocytes, and glial fibrillary acid protein-positive cells infiltrating the specimens, compared to nongranulomatous germinomas. Analysis of Masson's trichrome staining tests showed that large areas of the granulomatous germinomas were occupied by a collagenous component; this was not the case in cases of nongranulomatous germinomas. Analysis of monoclonal anti-human Ki-67 results showed that the granulomatous germinomas had a lower score than nongranulomatous germinomas (p < 0.05, unpaired t-test), indicating that germinomas with granulomatous inflammation may have a better prognosis.