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Tuesday 14 March 2006

Placental alkaline phosphatase

The evolution of the gonads during intra-uterine development has been followed by immunohistochemical demonstration of placental-like alkaline phosphatase (PLAP) at the germ-cell level.

PLAP immunopositivity was restricted to the limited period when germ cells were not surrounded by granulosa or Sertoli cells.

Abnormal fetuses or neonates presenting with chromosomal anomalies frequently had disorganized gonads where germ cells retained their membrane PLAP immunopositivity.

This abnormal immunopositivity is similar to that expressed by abnormal germ cells in testicular in situ carcinoma, in gonadoblastoma (case of 45,XO/46,XY mosaic) and in seminoma.

The pattern of positivity for other germ-cell tumours was highly variable.

In abnormal gonads, dysgenetic or neoplastic, an early embryonic property is retained by abnormal germ cells.


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