Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 257–260 | Cite as

Immunohistochemical localization of keratin in craniopharyngiomas and squamous cell nests of the human pituitary

  • S. L. Asa
  • K. Kovacs
  • J. M. Bilbao
  • G. Penz
Short Original Communications


To identify keratin, the immunoperoxidase technique was performed on 41 nontumourous pituitaries, 14 pituitary adenomas composed of different cell types and 15 craniopharyngiomas. No keratin was demonstrated in adenohypophysial cells, neurohypophysis or hypophysial vessels, however, it was occasionally identified in the pars intermedia within cells lining cystic structures. Crooke's hyaline material and all pituitary adenomas were negative for keratin. The epithelial portions of craniopharyngiomas exhibited positive keratin immunostaining, as did squamous cell nests, which are frequently found in the hypophysial stalk. Immunostaining for keratin can effectively be used in the differential diagnosis of pituitary tumours and may prove valuable in the investigation of histogenesis and embryology.

Key words

Craniopharyngioma Immunoperoxidase technique Keratin Pituitary tumour 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Banna M (1976) Craniopharyngioma: based on 160 cases. Br J Radiol 49:206–223Google Scholar
  2. Battifora H, Sun TT, Bahu R, Rao S (1980) The use of antikeratin antiserum in tumor diagnosis. Lab Invest 42:100–101Google Scholar
  3. Büttger HW, Müller W (1958) PAS-positive Substanzen in Craniopharyngiomen. Frankfurt Z Pathol 69:468–476Google Scholar
  4. Fotakis NS (1961a) Zur Frage der Keratinbildung in Kraniopharyngiom (Erdheim-Tumor). Acta Histochem 12:12–25Google Scholar
  5. Fotakis NS (1961b) Über die formale Genese von Keratinformationen in Kraniopharyngiomen (Erdheim-Tumor). Dtsch Z Nervenheilk 181:581–592Google Scholar
  6. Ghatak NR, Hirano A, Zimmerman HM (1971) Ultrastructure of a craniopharyngioma. Cancer 27:1465–1475Google Scholar
  7. Horvath E, Kovacs K (1978) Morphogenesis and significance of fibrous bodies in human pituitary adenomas. Virchows Arch B (Cell Pathol) 27:69–78Google Scholar
  8. Kepes JJ (1978) Transitional cell tumor of the pituitary gland developing from a Rathke's cleft cyst. Cancer 41:337–343Google Scholar
  9. Kovacs K, Horvath E, Stratmann IE, Ezrin C (1974) Cytoplasmic microfilaments in the anterior lobe of the human pituitary gland. Acta Anat 87:414–426Google Scholar
  10. Landolt AM (1975) Ultrastructure of human sella tumors. Correlations of clinical findings and morphology. Acta Neurochir (Wien) [Suppl] 22:1–167Google Scholar
  11. Liszczak T, Richardson EP Jr, Phillips JP, Jacobson S, Kornblith PL (1978) Morphological, biochemical, ultrastructural, tissue culture and clinical observations of typical and aggressive craniopharyngiomas. Acta Neuropathol (Berl) 43:191–203Google Scholar
  12. Petito CK, DeGirolami U, Earle KM (1976) Craniopharyngiomas. A clinical and pathological review. Cancer 37:1944–1952Google Scholar
  13. Rubinstein LJ (1972) Tumors of the central nervous system. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  14. Russell DS, Rubinstein LJ (1971) Pathology of tumors of the nervous system. 3rd edn. Arnold, LondonGoogle Scholar
  15. Schlegel R, Banks-Schlegel S, Pinkus GS (1980a) Immunohistochemical localization of keratin in normal human tissues. Lab Invest 42:91–96Google Scholar
  16. Schlegel R, Banks-Schlegel S, McLeod JA, Pinkus GS (1980b) Immunoperoxidase localization of keratin in human neoplasms. A preliminary survey. Am J Pathol 101:41–49Google Scholar
  17. Shuangshoti S, Netsky NG, Nashold BS (1970) Epithelial cysts related to sella turcica. Proposed origin from neuroepithelium. Arch Pathol 90:444–450Google Scholar
  18. Toglia JU, Netsky NG, Alexander E Jr (1965) Epithelial (epidermoid) tumors of the cranium. Their common nature and pathogenesis. J Neurosurg 23:384–393Google Scholar
  19. Velasco ME, Roessmann U, Gambetti P (1979) Immunohistochemical demonstration of glial fibrillary acidic (GFA) protein in human pituitary gland. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 38:347Google Scholar
  20. Zülch KJ (1965) Brain tumors. Their biology and pathology. 2nd edn. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. L. Asa
    • 1
  • K. Kovacs
    • 1
  • J. M. Bilbao
    • 1
  • G. Penz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology, St. Michael's HospitalUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations