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Intratumoural spatial distribution of S100B + folliculostellate cells is associated with proliferation and expression of FSH and ERα in gonadotroph tumours

  • Ilie, Mirela Diana1, 2
  • Vasiljevic, Alexandre1, 3
  • Chanal, Marie1
  • Gadot, Nicolas1, 4
  • Chinezu, Laura5, 6
  • Jouanneau, Emmanuel1, 3
  • Hennino, Ana1
  • Raverot, Gérald1, 7
  • Bertolino, Philippe1
  • 1 Inserm U1052, CNRS UMR5286, University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Cancer Research Center of Lyon, Lyon, France , Lyon (France)
  • 2 “C.I. Parhon” National Institute of Endocrinology, Bucharest, Romania , Bucharest (Romania)
  • 3 “Groupement Hospitalier Est” Hospices Civils de Lyon, Bron, France , Bron (France)
  • 4 Centre Leon Berard, Lyon, France , Lyon (France)
  • 5 Targu Mures Emergency Hospital, Targu Mures, Romania , Targu Mures (Romania)
  • 6 University of Medicine, Targu Mures, Romania , Targu Mures (Romania)
  • 7 Groupement Hospitalier Est” Hospices Civils de Lyon, Bron, France , Bron (France)
Published Article
Acta Neuropathologica Communications
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Feb 09, 2022
DOI: 10.1186/s40478-022-01321-y
Springer Nature
  • Research


Folliculostellate cells are S100B-expressing cells with numerous functions in the normal anterior pituitary. These cells have also been identified in pituitary neuroendocrine tumours (PitNETs), where their precise role remains elusive. Here, we aimed to build a refined cartography of S100B-expressing cells to characterise their interpatient and intratumoural spatial distribution, and to start identifying their potential functions in PitNETs. High-throughput histological analysis of S100B-stained tumour sections of 54 PitNETs revealed a significant decrease in S100B + cells in PitNETs compared to the normal anterior pituitary. A Ki67 index ≥ 3, a mitosis count > 2/10 per high power fields, and a proliferative status, were all associated with fewer S100B + cells in gonadotroph tumours. Gonadotroph tumours also showed interpatient and intratumoural heterogeneity in the spatial distribution of S100B + cells. The existence of an intratumoural heterogeneity was further confirmed by the incorporation to our spatial analysis of additional markers: Ki67, FSH, LH, ERα and SSTR2. The tumour areas with fewer S100B + cells displayed a higher percentage of Ki67 + cells, whereas strong positive correlations were observed between S100B + , FSH + , and ERα + cells. Such spatial associations suggest that S100B + folliculostellate cells could play a role in gonadotroph tumorigenesis, and may contribute to the maintenance of tumour cells in a low proliferating, FSH + /ERα + differentiated state. Albeit, further in-depth functional studies are required to decipher the mechanisms underlying these spatial associations and to potentially identify a therapeutic use.

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