AIM: To study the immunohistochemical localisation of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) I, IGF II, and IGF binding proteins 1-6 in intratubular germ cell neoplasia in the vicinity of solid germ cell tumours of the testis. METHODS: Testes were obtained from 13 patients (20-35 years old) who had undergone orchidectomy for treatment of a solid germ cell tumour. Tumour cells were verified histologically by their distinctive morphology and by visualisation of placental alkaline phosphatase immunoreactivity. RESULTS: The majority of carcinoma in situ (CIS) cells were immunopositive for IGF I, whereas no CIS cells stained for IGF II. Of all the IGF binding proteins investigated, CIS cells showed intense immunoreactivity for IGF binding protein 5 and lower expression of all other IGF binding proteins. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the action of IGF binding protein 5 in CIS cells may modulate the activity of IGF I. This may be related to a proliferative advantage that could facilitate tumour development.
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