Nuclear lamin expression in normal testis and testicular germ cell tumours of adolescents and adults

J Pathol. 1997 Jun;182(2):197-204. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9896(199706)182:2<197::AID-PATH823>3.0.CO;2-P.


Nuclear A- and B-type lamins are differentially expressed in tissues, depending on the degree of cellular differentiation and proliferative status. By studying lamin expression in testis parenchyma and testicular germ cell tumours, further insight may be gained into the degree of cellular differentiation in normal testis and into the whole spectrum of differentiation lineages found in testicular germ cell tumours. Frozen tissue sections of normal testis and the different types of testicular germ cell tumours were immunostained with monoclonal antibodies to distinct lamin subtypes. Lamin reactivity was evaluated in relation to the lineage and degree of cellular differentiation and the reactivity patterns were compared with each other and with those in normal testis. In normal testis, both A- and B-type lamins were expressed in Sertoli, Leydig, and peritubular cells, while in spermatogonia only B-type lamins were found and spermatocytes showed weak reactivity with the A-type lamin antibodies. Carcinoma in situ was most often positive for both of the B-type lamins and negative for the A-type lamins (lamins A and C). In testicular germ cell tumours, B-type lamins were always expressed, while A-type lamins were differentially expressed. Differentiated non-seminomas were positive for both of the A-type lamins, whereas embryonal carcinomas were positive for lamin C and negative for lamin A. Seminomas were negative for both of the A-type lamins, with the exception of seminomas containing a Ras mutation. Spermatogonia and seminoma cells, which follow a differentiation pathway along the spermatogenic lineage and show characteristics of germ cells, do not express A-type lamins. Non-seminomas, showing embryonal or extraembryonal differentiation, express A-type lamins to varying degrees, distinguishing embryonal carcinoma cells from other non-seminomatous components. This may aid in the evaluation of the percentage of embryonal carcinoma in non-seminomatous testicular germ cell tumours as a prognostic parameter.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Carcinoma in Situ / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Embryonal / metabolism
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Laminin / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Seminoma / metabolism*
  • Spermatocytes / metabolism
  • Spermatogonia / metabolism
  • Testicular Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Testis / metabolism*


  • Laminin