Ki-A10, a germ cell nuclear antigen retained in a subset of germ cell-derived tumors

Am J Pathol. 1999 Mar;154(3):795-803. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)65326-6.


Monoclonal antibody Ki-A10 recognizes a nuclear antigen of 25 and 22 kd apparent molecular mass, which is abundantly expressed by immature gonocytes, spermatogonia, and spermatocytes, whereas it is absent in spermatids, spermatozoa, oocytes, and normal somatic tissues. In a broad spectrum of human cancers the antibody showed no reactivity except for a small subset of malignant lymphomas. Because of this restricted expression pattern, we examined 173 germ cell tumors and 18 sex cord stromal tumors immunohistochemically to assess the distribution of the Ki-A10 antigen. A strongly positive reaction was found in classic seminomas, dysgerminomas, spermatocytic seminomas, and the germ cell component of gonadoblastomas. Yolk sac tumors presented a heterogeneous reactivity pattern ranging from overall positivity to complete lack of antigen expression, and in three of eight choriocarcinomas, a few clusters of cytotrophoblast cells were strongly labeled. All other tumors, including Leydig and Sertoli cell tumors as well as placental tissue, were negative. Our findings suggest that specific germ cell antigens can be retained in germ cell tumors along particular differentiation pathways. Ki-A10 is the first marker that consistently labels spermatocytic seminoma, further confirming its germ cell origin and suggesting a close relationship to classic seminoma. The antibody may serve for diagnostic purposes and promises new insights into the process of germ cell differentiation and the development of germ cell-derived neoplasia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / chemistry
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Germinoma / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Molecular Weight
  • Pregnancy
  • Sex Cord-Gonadal Stromal Tumors / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal