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Keywords:

  • dysgerminoma;
  • embryonal carcinoma;
  • gonadoblastoma;
  • LIN28;
  • ovary;
  • yolk sac tumour

Xue D, Peng Y, Wang F, Allan R W & Cao D (2011) Histopathology59, 452–459

RNA-binding protein LIN28 is a sensitive marker of ovarian primitive germ cell tumours

Aims:  LIN28 is an RNA-binding protein that has been detected in testicular germ cell tumours (GCTs), but its status in ovarian GCTs is unknown. The aim was to determine the immunohistochemical profile of LIN28 in ovarian GCTs.

Methods and results:  Immunohistochemistry of LIN28 was performed in 110 primary and 11 metastatic ovarian GCTs. The percentage of tumour cells stained was scored as 0, 1+ (1–30% cells), 2+ (31–60%), 3+ (61–90%), and 4+ (>90%). To determine its specificity, we stained LIN28 in 119 non-GCTs, including 37 clear cell carcinomas. Strong 4+ LIN28 staining was seen in 4/4 (100%) gonadoblastomas, 7/7 (100%) embryonal carcinomas (ECs), and 41/41 (100%) yolk sac tumours (YSTs). Among 39 dysgerminomas, 4+ staining was seen in 37 and 3+ staining in two (strong in 37; mixed weak and strong in two). Twelve of 14 immature teratomas showed variable LIN28 staining (1+ to 4+) in the immature neuroepithelium (weak to strong staining), whereas mature teratomas, carcinoids, struma ovarii and strumal carcinoids were negative. Only 5/117 non-GCTs (1/37 clear cell carcinomas) showed weak to moderate 1–2+ staining.

Conclusions:  LIN28 is a sensitive marker for gonadoblastomas, dysgerminomas, ECs, and YSTs. LIN28 can be used to distinguish them from non-GCTs.