Immunoreactivity for A103, an antibody to melan-A (Mart-1), in adrenocortical and other steroid tumors

Am J Surg Pathol. 1998 Jan;22(1):57-63. doi: 10.1097/00000478-199801000-00007.


The Melan-A (MART-1) gene encodes an antigen recognized by cytotoxic T cells. It has been said to be restricted in its expression to melanocytes. However, here we report the presence of immunoreactivity for A103, an antibody to Melan-A, in five adrenocortical adenomas, 16 primary and 13 metastatic adrenocortical carcinomas, four Leydig cell tumors of the testis, and three Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors of the ovary. To evaluate the potential diagnostic role of this antibody, we studied immunoreactivity for A103 in 111 carcinomas, 40 germ cell tumors, and 33 miscellaneous nonmelanocytic epithelioid tumors. All of them were negative for A103. Our findings suggest that once melanoma is excluded, A103 can aid in the recognition of steroid hormone-producing tumors and may be particularly useful in the diagnosis of adrenocortical carcinoma. The presence of immunoreactivity for A103 practically excludes any other carcinoma that may enter into the differential diagnosis of adrenocortical tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / pathology
  • Adrenocortical Adenoma / immunology*
  • Adrenocortical Adenoma / pathology
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / immunology*
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / pathology
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / analysis
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Cross Reactions / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Leydig Cell Tumor / immunology
  • Leydig Cell Tumor / pathology
  • MART-1 Antigen
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Proteins / immunology*
  • Sertoli-Leydig Cell Tumor / immunology
  • Sertoli-Leydig Cell Tumor / pathology
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • MART-1 Antigen
  • MLANA protein, human
  • Mlana protein, mouse
  • Neoplasm Proteins