Virchows Archiv A

, Volume 409, Issue 5, pp 571–582 | Cite as

Intratumorous distribution of catecholaminergic clone cells of human neuroblastoma

A catecholamine fluorescence study
  • Akira Nakagawara
  • Toshimitsu Toyohara
  • Keiichi Ikeda
  • Osami Nada
  • Masazumi Tsuneyoshi


The intratumorous distribution of catecholaminergic clone cells in 23 human neuroblastomas was studied using Falck-Hillarp's method, and the findings compared with the catecholamine (CA) content within the tumour. All the specimens contained elements with CA fluorescence, and the pattern of fluorescence was classified from the distribution of CA-positive cells and neurofibrils, as diffuse cellular (DC); diffuse fibrillary (DF), sporadic (S), clustered (C), island-shaped (I), and bundled (B). The strength of CA fluorescence of both cellular and fibrillary elements correlated well with the CA content within the tumour. In addition, all tumours of urinary VMA-negative cases also contained significantly larger amounts of CA than other, non-functioning, tumours in the paediatric age group. The results of this study suggest that firstly, the ratio of CA-positive cells to CA-positive neuronal processes is proportionately higher in the poorly-differentiated neuroblastomas and that secondly, even tumours negative for urinary VMA or HVA might be polyclonal and contain catecholaminergic elements.

Key words

Neuroblastoma Catecholamine fluorescence Catecholamine content Catecholaminergic clone 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akira Nakagawara
    • 1
  • Toshimitsu Toyohara
    • 1
  • Keiichi Ikeda
    • 1
  • Osami Nada
    • 2
  • Masazumi Tsuneyoshi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric Surgery, Faculty of MedicineKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Medical TechnologyKyushu University School of Health ScienceFukuokaJapan
  3. 3.Second Department of Pathology, Faculty of MedicineKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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