The origin of the neoplastic stromal cell in giant cell tumor of bone

Hum Pathol. 2003 Oct;34(10):983-93. doi: 10.1053/s0046-8177(03)00413-1.


Fibroblastlike stromal cells, which are always present as a component of giant cell tumor of bone (GCT), can be observed in both in vivo and cultured cell samples. Although they are assumed to trigger the cancer process in GCT, the histogenesis of GCT stromal cells is poorly understood. It is known that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can develop to osteoblasts. Evidence has been presented that GCT stromal cells can also develop to osteoblasts. A connection between MSCs and GCT stromal cells was sought by using 2 different laboratory approaches. First, immunohistological analyses revealed that some of the same markers, detected by the SH2, SH3, and SH4 antibodies and the CD166 antigen, were found in GCT stromal cells as in the first developmental stages of osteoblast differentiation from the initial MSCs. These immunohistological findings could be confirmed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Second, cellular differentiation by morphology and lineage-specific staining offered evidence that not only osteoblasts, but also chondroblasts and adipocytes, could be cultured from stromal cells. The presented double approach indicates that GCT stromal cells can originate from MSCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Bone Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Chondrocytes / cytology
  • DNA Primers / chemistry
  • Fibroblasts / chemistry
  • Fibroblasts / pathology*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Giant Cell Tumor of Bone / chemistry
  • Giant Cell Tumor of Bone / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoclasts / chemistry
  • Osteoclasts / pathology
  • RNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stromal Cells / chemistry
  • Stromal Cells / pathology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA Primers
  • RNA, Neoplasm