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Tumour responding accessory cells in testicular seminoma: an immunohistochemical study


Dr P T L Sarsfield Department of Histopathology, Department of Pathology, Royal Devon & Exeter Healthcare NHS Trust, Church Lane, Heavitree, Exeter EX2 5AD, UK.



To investigate the role of accessory cells (and other chronic inflammatory cells) in the host immune response to testicular seminoma by defining their immunophenotypic characteristics and topographical arrangement.

Methods and results

A panel of antibodies applicable to paraffin-embedded tissues was employed to characterize the host chronic inflammatory response in eight cases of classical testicular seminoma. The antibodies were directed against CD45RO, CD20, CD68, acid cysteine proteinase inhibitor (ACPI), MAC387, muramidase (MUR), S100 protein, Factor XIIIa, CD21 and HLA Class II. In all cases the majority of the inflammatory cells were T-lymphocytes situated mainly in areas of apparent tumour destruction. Large numbers of macrophages/dendritic cells which had not been evident by conventional light microscopy were also demonstrated. In particular, an immunophenotypically distinct population of accessory cells showing a specific pattern of distribution was revealed. It clearly rimmed islands of tumour and showed strong positive staining for CD68, MAC387 and HLA Class II.


The study has identified an immunophenotypically distinct population of accessory cells showing a characteristic topographical arrangement. It is proposed that it represents a subpopulation of macrophages which are responding directly to the tumour and are likely to play a part in influencing tumour dynamics.