Korean J Pathol.  2003 Dec;37(6):421-428.

Clonal Analysis of Neurofibroma by PCR Amplification of HUMARA Gene

  • 1Department of Pathology, Chonnam University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea jhlee@chonnam.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Chonnam University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.


BACKGROUND: While neurofibromas have generally been regarded as polyclonal hyperplastic lesions, it remains unclear whether the tumor is a true neoplasm or a hyperplastic lesion.
Determination of clonality by X chromosome inactivation pattern was investigated in twenty-one cases of neurofibroma employing enzyme digestion and PCR of the HUMARA gene. The histological, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural characteristics of the tumors were also examined.
Immunohistochemically, most of the tumor cells showed vimentin and S-100 protein positivity. Axons were demonstrated by neurofilament protein positivity and were seen mainly at the periphery and rarely in the central portion of the tumor. Ultrastructurally, the tumors were composed of a variety of cell types: perineurial cells, Schwann cells, fibroblasts, and axons. X chromosome inactivation analysis was completed on thirteen out of fifteen cases in which DNA was successfully extracted. Of thirteen neurofibromas that were heterozygous at the HUMARA loci, eleven showed a polyclonal pattern. The remaining two cases were considered as indeterminate for clonality because of unequal band intensity and failure to obtain the normal control DNA.
The results from this study suggest that neurofibromas are polyclonal in origin and might be a neoplastic lesion comprising non-neoplastic cells among constituent components.


Neurofibroma; Clonality; HUMARA; Immunohistochemistry; Ultrastructure
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