Melanotic cerebral ganglioglioma: evidence for melanogenesis in neoplastic astrocytes
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A composite melanotic glial-ganglionic tumor was resected from a 17-year-old girl who presented with a 5-year history of epilepsy. Grossly, the tumor was partly cystic, partly solid, located superficially in the temporal lobe. Histologically, its glial component was composed of spindle and pleomorphic cells, including tumor giant cells, which were associated with Rosenthal fibers, eosinophilic granular bodies and marked desmoplasia. The cells had immunohistochemical and ultrastructural features of astrocytes, and some were invested by incomplete basal lamina. Thus, the tumor had many features in common with pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma. However, its most striking feature was the presence of melanin pigment in numerous neoplastic cells. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive intermediate filaments in tumor cells bearing melanosomes and premelanosome, proving their astrocytic nature. This case demonstrates, for the first time, melanosomal melanogenesis in human cells with astrocytic phenotype, and provides additional evidence for the ability of central neuroepithelial cell derivatives to produce melanin.
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