Stains & CD markers

Topic Completed: 1 November 2011

Minor changes: 18 August 2021

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Synaptophysin[TI] free full text[sb]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. Synaptophysin. website. Accessed September 21st, 2021.
  • 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)
Microscopic (histologic) images

Cases #195, #45, #110, #189, #185 and #17
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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

Contributed by Jijgee Munkhdelger, M.D., Ph.D. and Andrey Bychkov, M.D., Ph.D.

Typical carcinoid immunoprofile

Images hosted on other servers:
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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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Merkel cell carcinoma metastatic to heart

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
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