Gonadoblastoma: origin and outcome

Hum Pathol. 2020 Jun:100:47-53. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2019.11.005. Epub 2019 Dec 2.


Classical gonadoblastoma occurs almost entirely in the dysgenetic gonads of an individual who has a disorder of sex development; however, a small number of cases arise in individuals with a normal peripheral karyotype and no evidence of a disorder of sex development. Those gonadoblastomas that occur in an individual who has a Y chromosome or part thereof express testis specific protein Y-encoded 1 (TSPY1). If a gonad in those individuals contains germ cells with delayed maturation and also harbors the TSPY1 gene, the cells can undergo transformation to classical gonadoblastoma. The latter consists of rounded islands composed of germ cells, sex cord elements, and hyaline basement membrane material surrounded by a variably cellular stroma that sometimes contains steroid cells. Classical gonadoblastoma can be interpreted as a noninvasive or an in situ neoplasm that is the precursor of germinoma in some individuals and, indirectly, of other more aggressive germ cell neoplasms. The "dissecting" variant is derived from classical gonadoblastoma and is characterized by unusual growth patterns. Undifferentiated gonadal tissue is the precursor of gonadoblastoma; however, if all germ cells in an individual with undifferentiated gonadal tissue involute, the result is a secondary streak gonad. Undifferentiated gonadal tissue is a non-neoplastic condition resembling a streak gonad but additionally contains germ cells with delayed maturation that express octamer-binding transcription factor 4; however, other germ cells, show normal maturation and express TSPY1.

Keywords: Disorder of sex development; Gonad; Gonadoblastoma; Ovary; Undifferentiated gonadal tissue.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Chromosomes, Human, X
  • Chromosomes, Human, Y
  • Disorders of Sex Development / genetics
  • Disorders of Sex Development / pathology
  • Female
  • Germ Cells / metabolism
  • Germ Cells / pathology*
  • Gonadoblastoma / genetics
  • Gonadoblastoma / metabolism
  • Gonadoblastoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Testicular Neoplasms / genetics
  • Testicular Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • TSPY1 protein, human