Mast cells in central nervous system neoplasms: an immunohistochemical study

Aldair Ochoa-Rojas, Faculty of Bioanalysis, Universidad Veracruzana, Veracruz, México
Ana L. Calderón-Garcidueñas, Neuropathology Department, Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugia, Ciudad de México, México
César I. Peña-Ruelas, Pathology Department, Unidad Médica de Alta Especialidad, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México
Rubén Ruiz-Ramos, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Veracruzana, Veracruz, México
Noé López-Amador, Instituto de Medicina Forense, Universidad Veracruzana, Veracruz, México
Enrique Villarreal-Ríos, Unidad Regional de Investigación Epidemiológica en Servicios de Salud Querétaro, Querétaro, México
Edmundo E. Castelán-Maldonado, Pathology Department, Unidad Médica de Alta Especialidad, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México

Objective: To investigate the relationship between mast cells (MCs) and different central nervous system (CNS) tumors. Methods: It was a comparative immunohistochemical study to investigate the presence, number, and location of MCs in pilocytic astrocytomas, glioblastoma, medulloblastoma, ependymoma, meningioma, and immature and mature teratomas. Means, medians, and standard deviation were obtained. Comparation in the number of MCs in the different tumors was carried out using the Mann–Whitney test (p < 0.05). Results: There was a significant difference in the number of MCs between pilocytic astrocytoma (X? = 0), and mature teratoma (X? = 65), in relation to the other neoplasms (X? = 3-11.4). MCs were identified in meningeal lining in meningiomas, in the perivascular space in ependymomas and in the tumor stroma and perivascular space in the rest of the tumors analyzed. Conclusions: MCs appear to play different roles in CNS tumors. Its absence in pilocytic astrocytomas and its presence in glioblastomas suggests a role in the latter, probably related to angiogenesis. The maximum number of MCs was observed in mature teratomas, specifically in relation to stratified squamous epithelium, possibly in relation to trophic factors that contribute to epithelial renewal and maintenance. These findings call for future research to determine if MCs can be a therapeutic target or are important as a prognostic factor.

Palabras clave: Mast cells. Brain tumors. Glioblastoma. Teratoma. Meningioma.