Stains & CD markers
Neuron specific enolase (NSE)

Last author update: 1 June 2009
Last staff update: 11 September 2023

Copyright: 2002-2023,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Neuron specific enolase

Kara Hamilton, M.S.
Page views in 2022: 5,976
Page views in 2023 to date: 6,034
Cite this page: Hamilton K. Neuron specific enolase (NSE). website. Accessed November 28th, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Cytoplasmic enzyme expressed by neuroendocrine cells and tumors, including poorly differentiated neuroendocrine tumors, which usually are negative for other neuroendocrine markers
  • Despite its name, is often not specific for neuroendocrine cells / tumors
  • Enolases are widely distributed glycolytic enzymes that catalyze the interconversion of 2-phosphoglycerate and phosphophenolpyruvate
  • NSE refers to the gamma-gamma and alpha-gamma isoenzymes preferentially found in neurons and neuroendocrine cells
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:
Missing Image


Positive staining - normal
  • Neurons, neuroendocrine cells
Positive staining - disease
  • Neuroectodermal and neuroendocrine neoplasms
  • Melanomas
Back to top
Image 01 Image 02