Stains & CD markers

Editor-in-Chief: Debra L. Zynger, M.D.
David Wachter, M.D.

Last author update: 2 June 2020
Last staff update: 2 July 2021

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PubMed Search: IMP3[TI] free full text[SB]

David Wachter, M.D.
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Cite this page: Wachter D. IMP3. website. Accessed April 15th, 2024.
Definition / general
Essential features
  • IMPs are thought to enter the nucleus, bind to target mRNA and are then exported to the cytoplasm where they possibly influence posttranscriptional expression of the bound mRNA (Biochem J 2003;376:383)
  • Functional analyses of IMP3 suggested its potential influence on tumor cell adhesion and invasive growth in cancer (J Biol Chem 2005;280:18517, EMBO J 2006;25:1456)
  • Cytoplasmic stain
Uses by pathologists
  • Differentiation between reactive epithelial changes and high grade dysplasia / carcinoma in different organ systems (bile ducts and pancreas, ampulla of Vater, gastric epithelium, colonic epithelium)
  • Differentiation between benign and malignant tumors in different organ systems (liver, breast, testis)
Prognostic factors
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Positivity most often defined as moderate to strong expression in more than 10% of tumor cells
  • Interpretation limited by use of different cut offs and different scoring systems in the literature
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by David Wachter, M.D.
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Ductal adenocarcinoma of pancreas and pancreatic isle

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Ductal adenocarcinoma of pancreas and duodenum

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Hepatocellular carcinoma

Positive staining - normal
  • TMA study analyzed IMP3 expression in normal tissues (Oncol Rep 2018;39:3)
  • Weakly positive: amnion, chorion cells, decidua, thymocytes, crypt cells of rectal mucosa, ciliated cells of bronchial mucosa, secretory cells of cervix, cells of the adenohypophysis of the anterior lobe of your the pituitary gland
  • Moderately positive: mesenchymal cells of placenta, mucous cells of submandibular and sublingual and bronchial glands, spermatogonia of testis
  • Strongly positive: syncytiotrophoblast, cytotrophoblast, lymph follicles in lymph nodes and tonsils with lymphoblasts, lymphocytes, absorptive cells of ileum, ciliated cells of fallopian tube
Positive staining - disease
Negative staining
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