Research Papers:

TREM-1 expression in craniopharyngioma and Rathke’s cleft cyst: its possible implication for controversial pathology

Yi Liu, Chao-hu Wang, Dan-ling Li, Shi-chao Zhang, Yu-ping Peng, Jun-xiang Peng, Ye Song, Song-tao Qi and Jun Pan _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:50564-50574. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10501

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Yi Liu1,*, Chao-hu Wang1,*, Dan-ling Li2,*, Shi-chao Zhang1, Yu-ping Peng1, Jun-xiang Peng1, Ye Song1, Song-tao Qi1, Jun Pan1

1Department of Neurosurgery, Nanfang Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China

2Department of Biometric, College of Public Health of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jun Pan, email: [email protected]

Song-tao Qi, email: [email protected]

Keywords: craniopharyngioma, metaplasia, Rathke’s cleft cyst, SE, TREM-1

Received: March 10, 2016     Accepted: June 30, 2016     Published: July 8, 2016


Whether a mixed type of craniopharyngioma (CP) exists and whether papillary craniopharyngioma (pCP) is on a histopathological continuum with Rathke’s cleft cyst (RCC) remain controversial. Herein, we examined the expression and localization of β-catenin, BRAF p.V600E (V600E), and triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (TREM-1) in 58 samples including 20 pCPs, 26 adamantinomatous craniopharyngiomas (aCP), and 12 RCCs. Five aCPs were diagnosed with mixed type CPs and the remaining 21 cases were pure aCPs. Four of the 12 RCCs presented with significant squamous epithelium (SE). V600E immunoreactivity was observed in all pCPs in the cytoplasm, but not in the nuclei. aCPs and RCCs, including mixed type CP, did not express V600E. Nuclear β-catenin translocation was detected exclusively in aCPs. TREM-1 was expressed in pCPs. Additionally, TREM-1 expression was detected in the SE of 5 “mixed type” CPs, while it was absent in pure aCPs. TREM-1 was expressed in 4 RCCs with SE, but not in the remaining 8 RCCs. TREM-1 mRNA levels were compared in cultured pCP and aCP cells. TREM-1 mRNA level was significantly (p < 0.001; up to 4.045 fold) higher in pCPs than in aCPs. Western blotting revealed a significantly (p < 0.001; up to 7.19 fold) lower level of TREM-1 expression in aCP cells compared to that in pCP cells. Our findings further supported that RCC and pCP may represent two ends of a morphological spectrum. A variant showing overlapping histological features of aCP and pCP should not be considered as a mixed type.

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