Primary cilia in gastric Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumours (GISTs): an ultrastructural study

Authors

  • Tomás Castiella,

    1. Department of Pathology and Human Histology and Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
    2. University Clinic Hospital, IIS Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain
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  • Guillermo Muñoz,

    1. Department of Pathology and Human Histology and Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
    2. University Clinic Hospital, IIS Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain
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  • María José Luesma,

    1. Department of Pathology and Human Histology and Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
    2. University Clinic Hospital, IIS Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain
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  • Sonia Santander,

    1. University Clinic Hospital, IIS Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain
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  • Mario Soriano,

    1. Department of Electron Microscopy, Príncipe Felipe Research Centre, Valencia, Spain
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  • Concepción Junquera

    Corresponding author
    1. University Clinic Hospital, IIS Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain
    • Department of Pathology and Human Histology and Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
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Correspondence to: Prof. C. JUNQUERA, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zaragoza, Domingo Miral s/n 50009 Zaragoza, Spain.

Tel.: 34- 976 761674

Fax: 34- 976 761664

E-mail: cjunquer@unizar.es

Abstract

Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal (non-epithelial) neoplasms of the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract. They are thought to derive from interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) or an ICC progenitor based on immunophenotypical and ultrastructural similarities. Because ICCs show primary cilium, our hypothesis is based on the possibility that some of these neoplastic cells could also present it. To determine this, an exhaustive ultrastructural study has been developed on four gastric GISTs. Previous studies had demonstrated considerable variability in tumour cells with two dominating phenotypes, spindly and epithelioid. In addition to these two types, we have found another cell type reminiscent of adult ICCs with a voluminous nucleus surrounded by narrow perinuclear cytoplasm with long slender cytoplasmic processes. We have also noted the presence of small undifferentiated cells. In this study, we report for the first time the presence of primary cilia (PCs) in spindle and epithelioid tumour cells, an ultrastructural feature we consider of special interest that has hitherto been ignored in the literature dealing with the ultrastructure of GISTs. We also point out the frequent occurrence of multivesicular bodies (MVBs). The ultrastructural findings described in gastric GISTs in this study appear to be relevant considering the critical roles played by PCs and MVBs recently demonstrated in tumourigenic processes.

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