Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 80, Issue 5, pp 547–553 | Cite as

Type C retroviral expression in spontaneous feline olfactory neuroblastomas

  • M. D. Schrenzel
  • R. J. Higgins
  • S. H. Hinrichs
  • M. O. Smith
  • M. Torten
Regular Papers


Three cases of spontaneous olfactory neuroblastoma (ONB) in domestic cats were morphologically and immunocytochemically characterized. Diagnostic light microscopic features included Flexner and Homer-Wright rosettes, while ultrastructurally the cells had neuritic processes, intracellular intermediate filaments, and intercellular junctions. Immunocytochemically, the tumors stained positively for neuron-specific enolase, cytokeratins, and S-100 protein antigens. In each case, a key finding was the identification of numerous mature type C retroviral particles within the tumors. In one case, budding of viral particles from the plasmalemma of tumor cells suggested the source of mature particles. This cat and one other were tested, and both were serologically positive for feline leukemia virus (FeLV). The virus in the tumors was identified as FeLV by polymerase chain reaction and immunocytochemistry. No other neoplasms were found in any of the cats, nor was there similar evidence of active viral infection in other non-tumor tissues, including the brain. Although the relationship between FeLV infection and ONB is uncertain, our findings indicate that FeLV should be investigated as an etiologic agent of ONB.

Key words

Feline Olfactory neuroblastoma Type C retrovirus Immunocytochemistry Ultrastructure 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. D. Schrenzel
    • 1
  • R. J. Higgins
    • 1
  • S. H. Hinrichs
    • 3
  • M. O. Smith
    • 2
  • M. Torten
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine/Surgery, School of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pathology, School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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