Patterns of reactivity with anti‐glycolipid antibodies in human primary brain tumors

J. Li, D. K. Pearl, S. E. Pfeiffer, A. J. Yates

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14 Scopus citations


Antibodies against carbohydrates of three glycolipids were used to determine patterns of immunohistochemical reactivity of histologically identifiable cell subpopulations in 101 human primary brain tumors. For all tumor types fibrillary cells, polar cells, and gemistocytes (commonly seen in astrocytomas and ependymomas) stained more frequently for galactosylcerebroside with mAbO1 than small tumor cells and macrophages. Frequency of staining for sulfatide with mAbO4 was fibrillary > polar > small cells = macrophages. Gemistocytes stained more frequently with mAbO4 than polar cells in all tumors except low grade astrocytomas. These data indicate that tumors classified on histological grounds as astrocytic are often stained with antibodies that recognize oligodendrocytes and their progenitors. Thus, anti‐glycolipid antibodies used in the study of developmental lineage may offer useful tools for classification of human brain tumors. Staining of fibrillary cells, polar cells, and gemistocytes for paragloboside directly with mAb F1H11 was much less common than with mAbO1, but this increased by pretreatment of the tissues with neuraminidase (F1H11 + N). Of particular note was the finding that small tumor cells frequently stained with F1H11 + N. Evidence that these were not macrophages was obtained using double immunostaining with F1H11 + N and anti‐macrophage antibodies. In astrocytomas the frequency of small tumor cells immunostained with F1H11 + N was high grade > anaplastic > low grade, demonstrating a correlation of this tumor cell population with more F1H11 + N may be of value in identifying small, ana‐plastic tumor cells, especially in small biopsies or tissue taken adjacent to the main tumor mass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-158
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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