FABP4 is a candidate marker of cerebellar liponeurocytomas

J Neurooncol. 2012 Jul;108(3):513-9. doi: 10.1007/s11060-012-0853-0. Epub 2012 Apr 3.


Cerebellar liponeurocytoma (cLPN) is a very rare central nervous system (CNS) tumour recently recognized as a clinical and pathological entity distinct from medulloblastoma (MB), and included in the WHO classification of CNS tumours under the heading "glioneuronal tumours". cLPN typically develop in adult age and have a favourable prognosis compared with MB. In this work, we reviewed the clinical and neuroradiological data of two novel cases of adult cLPN diagnosed at our institution; one patient developed distant metastases. We tried to identify novel molecular markers for this malignancy. We found that the transcription factor NEUROG1 (but not ATOH1) is expressed in cLPN, unlike normal adult cerebellum, and that fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4), typically found in adipocytes, is significantly overexpressed compared with both normal adult cerebellum and human MB. These findings suggest cLPN occur as a result of transformation of cerebellar progenitors, which are distinct from cerebellar granule progenitors, and aberrantly differentiate into adipocyte-like tumour cells. They also suggest that analysis of FABP4 expression is of help to differentiate cLPN from MB.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / genetics
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lipoma / diagnosis*
  • Lipoma / genetics
  • Lipoma / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurocytoma / diagnosis*
  • Neurocytoma / genetics
  • Neurocytoma / metabolism
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • FABP4 protein, human
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger