Virchows Archiv B

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 95–121 | Cite as

Synaptophysin and chromogranins/secretogranins widespread constituents of distinct types of neuroendocrine vesicles and new tools in tumor diagnosis

  • Bertram Wiedenmann
  • Wieland B. Huttner
Review Article


Normal and neoplastic neuroendocrine (NE) cells have been identified for many years by morphological criteria only. With the advent of immunocytochemistry, antibodies against NE-specific polypeptides have been used to identify NE cells that had been missed by conventional techniques, thus improving the diagnosis of NE cells. In this review article we discuss (i) the biochemical, cell biological and molecular biological data obtained so far for two major types of NE markers, synaptophysin, which is characteristic of the small “transparent-looking” neurosecretory vesicles, and the chromogranins/secretogranins, which are widespread constituents of the larger “dense-cored” secretory granules; (ii) the immunohistochemical data obtained for these marker proteins in normal and neoplastic human NE cells and tissues; and (iii) future possible developments involving these as well as other proteins that are associated with these two distinct secretory organelles of NE cells and may serve as potential markers in NE cell diagnosis.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bertram Wiedenmann
    • 1
  • Wieland B. Huttner
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Heidelberg Medical SchoolHeidelbergFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Cell Biology Programme European Molecular Biology LaboratoryHeidelbergFederal Republic of Germany

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