Virchows Archiv A

, Volume 409, Issue 6, pp 751–766 | Cite as

Intermediate-filament expression in thyroid gland carcinomas

  • Sören Schröder
  • Barbara Dockhorn-Dworniczak
  • Hartwig Kastendieck
  • Werner Böcker
  • Werner W. Franke


Paraffin-embedded specimens of 200 primary thyroid carcinomas were examined immunohistologically for the expression of intermediate-filament (IF) protein of the cytokeratin, vimentin and neurofilament type. In 36 cases, snap-frozen tissue was available, and double label immunofluorescence microscopy was performed in 23 of them.

Cytokeratin reactivity was found in all cells of all follicular, papillary and medullary carcinoma cases examined. Using a monoclonal vimentin antibody, positive staining was found in many, though not all cells of the papillary tumours and in approximately 50% of the follicular and the medullary carcinomas. Among anaplastic carcinomas, some tumours were positive for cytokeratins, with or without coexpression of vimentin. Neurofilaments could only be demonstrated in approximately 13% of medullary tumours which in general also exhibited vimentin positivity.

The differences of IF expression in follicle and C-cell thyroid carcinomas and the broad variation of cytokeratin and vimentin immunoreactivity among anaplastic tumours of this organ is discussed in relation to the possible intrinsic heterogeneity of these tumours and the diagnostic value of these marker.

Key words

Thyroid carcinoma Intermediate filaments Keratin Vimentin Neurofilaments 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sören Schröder
    • 1
  • Barbara Dockhorn-Dworniczak
    • 2
  • Hartwig Kastendieck
    • 3
  • Werner Böcker
    • 4
  • Werner W. Franke
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of PathologyUniversity of HamburgHamburg 20
  2. 2.Division of Membrane Biology and Biochemistry, Institute of Cell and Tumour BiologyGerman Cancer Research CenterHeidelberg
  3. 3.Department of PathologyGeneral Hospital Hamburg-HarburgHamburg 90
  4. 4.Department of PathologyGeneral Hospital Hamburg-AltonaHamburg 50Federal Republic of Germany

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