The neural histogenetic origin of the oral granular cell tumor: an immunohistochemical evidence

Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2011 Jan 1;16(1):e6-10. doi: 10.4317/medoral.16.e6.


Aims: Granular cell tumor (GCT) is a rare neoplasm that can appear in any site of the body, but most are located intraorally. Its histogenetic origin remains unclear. This report analyzes the immunoprofile of 15 cases of granular cell tumors, occurring in 13 women and 2 men and the lesions were located on the tongue or upper lip. Patient age ranged from 7 to 52.

Methods: The patients demographic data and the cytological and architectural features of the lesions were analyzed in oral GCTs (n=15). The lesions were also submitted to a panel of immunohistochemical stains with antibodies against S-100, p75, NSE, CD-68, Ki-67, Synaptofisin, HHF-35, SMA, EMA, Chromogranin, Progesterone, Androgen and Estrogen.

Results: Among the fifteen cases analyzed, the most common location was the tongue (84.6%). Histologically, the tumors exhibited cellular proliferation composed mainly by polygonal cells presenting an abundant granular eosinophilic cytoplasm. The nuclei were central, and the cell membranes were moderately clear. No mitotic figures were observed. The immunohistochemical analysis showed positivity in all cases for S-100, p75, NSE and CD-68, and no immunoreactivity for Ki-67, Synaptofisin, HHF-35, SMA, EMA, Chromogranin, Progesterone, Androgen and Estrogen.

Conclusion: The immunoprofile of granular cell tumors showed nerve sheath differentiation--lending support to their neural origin--and helping to establish a differential diagnosis between this lesion and other oral granular cell tumors, whether benign or malignant.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Granular Cell Tumor / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lip Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelin Sheath / pathology
  • Tongue Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Young Adult