Quantification of immunocompetent cells in testicular germ cell tumours

Histopathology. 1997 Jan;30(1):23-30. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2559.1997.d01-560.x.


The immunocompetent cells present in the different histological patterns of 43 testicular germ cell tumours were evaluated. CD3 + and CD45RO + (UCHL1 +) T lymphocytes, CD68 + and MAC 387 + macrophages, CD20 + (L26 +) B lymphocytes, and kappa and lambda + plasma cells were counted. The number of immunocompetent cells per mm2 of tumour tissue, excluding the necrotic areas, was evaluated. Microscopic fields were randomly selected by two observers. In order to guarantee randomization each surface was divided into parts, numbered through a lattice, and some fields were chosen via a random numbers table. This procedure yielded significantly different counts from those obtained on subjective selection. The number of T-lymphocytes and macrophages was higher in seminomas than in the non-seminomatous testicular germ cell tumours (P < 0.05) Embryonal carcinomas had more T-lymphocytes than immature teratomas. No significant differences were found among testicular germ cell tumours with regards to the B-lymphocytes, with the exception of the high number of B-lymphocytes in mature teratomas. Kappa + and lambda + plasma cells were few in the testicular germ cell tumours. Randomization in the quantification of immunocompetent cells in testicular germ cell tumours is a good means for evaluation of immune response in all the tumour mass, not only in the areas with the most intense inflammatory cell infiltrate, and permits comparison of testicular germ cell tumours with other malignant tumours. Study of immunocompetent cells in every histological type of testicular germ cell tumour is useful in comparing them with other extra-testicular germ cell tumours.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Embryonal / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Embryonal / pathology
  • Germinoma / immunology*
  • Germinoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Male
  • Plasma Cells / pathology
  • Seminoma / immunology
  • Seminoma / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Teratoma / immunology
  • Teratoma / pathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology*