Aims: Very recent papers proposed a possible role for the expression of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) in the tumourigenesis of gonadal and extragonadal germ cell-derived tumours (GCTs). Our multicentric study evaluated the magnitude of the immunoreactivity for TdT in GCTs, encompassing seminoma, dysgerminoma, mature teratoma and mixed GCTs. Methods and results: The histological series was stained with both monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, yielding a positivity of 80% of cases with well-defined nuclear reactivity. A significant difference in staining intensity between monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies was observed (p=0.005). However, exploiting western blot and more innovative proteomic approaches, no clear-cut evidence of the TdT protein was observed in the neoplastic tissues of the series. Conclusions: Alternatively to the pathogenetic link between TdT expression and GCTs tumourigenesis, we hypothesised the occurrence of a spurious immunohistochemical nuclear cross-reaction, a well-known phenomenon with important implications and a possible source of diagnostic pitfalls in routine practice for pathologists.
- differential diagnosis
- genital system
- germinal cell tumor
- terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine