Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 17 April 2017, last major update June 2005

Copyright: (c) 2003-2015,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Reticulin[title]

Cite this page: Reticulin. website. Accessed December 13th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Demonstrates reticular fibers and basement membrane material
  • Not related to reticulum cells
  • Reticular fibers: thin, usually type III collagen, widespread in connective tissue throughout the body
  • Basement membrane is composed of type IV collagen and laminin
  • Both have bound proteoglycans highlighted by silver stains and PAS
Uses by pathologists
  • Often not helpful in nonclassic cases
  • Outlines architecture of liver and spleen
  • To diagnose hemangiopericytoma, vascular smooth muscle, fibrosarcoma or fibrothecoma (stains each cell) vs. endothelial cell tumors (stains outside of all cells), MPNST (runs parallel to spindle tumor cells without surrounding them at the poles)
  • Architecture disrupted by hepatocellular carcinoma and other hepatocellular proliferations
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Normal liver

Normal spleen

Alveolar soft parts sarcoma (fig 2a)

Glomus tumor (fig 2D)


Paraganglioma of gallbladder (fig 1b)