Stains
Synaptophysin

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

Revised: 10 December 2015, last major update November 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2015, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

Cite this page: Synaptophysin. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/stainssynaptophysin.html. Accessed December 7th, 2016.
Pathophysiology
  • Most abundant synaptic vesicle membrane glycoprotein, present in neuronal presynaptic vesicles
  • Gene is at Xp11.23-p11.22
  • May regulate endocytosis to ensure vesicle availability during and after sustained neuronal activity (Neuron 2011;70:847)
  • Specific, but not sensitive for neuroendocrine tumors
  • More sensitive in well differentiated tumors
  • Granular cytoplasmic pattern in small cell carcinoma reflects neurosecretory granules
Uses by Pathologists
  • Common neuroendocrine marker (also chromogranin and CD56)
Micro Images

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Bladder: paraganglioma

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Breast: neuroendocrine carcinoma

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Breast: neuroendocrine DCIS

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CNS: chordoma

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Colonic polyp - tubulovillous adenoma with microcarcinoids

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Neuroblastoma (retropharyngeal mass)

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Testis: Leydig cell tumor

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Thymic carcinoma (type C thymoma), nonkeratinizing squamous cell carcinoma type


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Adrenal gland: left-corticomedullary mixed tumor, right-adrenocortical carcinoma

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Bladder: small cell carcinoma

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Bladder: mixed small cell / urothelial carcinoma

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Bladder: small cell carcinoma (cytology)

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Breast: neuroendocrine carcinoma

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Colon: small cell carcinoma (fig D)

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Esophagus: small cell carcinoma

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Merkel cell carcinoma metastatic to heart

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Stomach: carcinoid tumor (left side-fig 4B)

Positive Staining - Normal
  • Adrenal medulla, neuronal cells, neuroendocrine cells, pineal gland
Positive Staining - Disease
  • Neuroendocrine cells / tumors at all sites (carcinoid tumor, neuroendocrine carcinoma, paraganglioma, small cell carcinoma)
  • Adrenal gland: adrenocortical adenoma and carcinoma, neuroblastoma, oncocytoma, pheochromocytoma
  • CNS: central neurocytoma, gangliocytic paraganglioma, ganglioneuroma and other ganglion cell tumors (Hum Pathol 1990;21:271), medulloblastoma/central PNET, pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (variable), retinoblastoma
  • Lung: adenocarcinoma-well differentiated fetal type
  • Other: desmopslastic small cell tumor, glomus tumor, medullary thyroid carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma (Am J Clin Pathol 2011;135:831), myxoid chondrosarcoma (variable), parathyroid carcinoma of thymus (variable)
Negative Staining
  • Urothelial carcinoma