HAM56-immunoreactive macrophages in untreated infiltrating gliomas

Thomas J. Cummings, Christine M. Hulette, Sandra H. Bigner, Gregory J. Riggins, Roger E. McLendon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Context. - Classic diagnostic neuropathologic teachings have cautioned against making the diagnosis of neoplasia in the presence of a macrophage population. The knowledge of macrophage distribution should prove useful when confronted with an infiltrating glioma containing macrophages. Objective. - To identify macrophages in untreated, infiltrating gliomas using the monoclonal antibody HAM56, and to confirm their presence in an untreated glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) with the serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) method. Methods. - We evaluated the presence of macrophages in 16 cases of untreated, supratentorial infiltrating gliomas with the macrophage monoclonal antibody HAM56. We performed SAGE for one case of GBM and for normal brain tissue. Results. - In World Health Organization (WHO) grade II well-differentiated astrocytoma and oligodendroglioma, HAM56 reactivity was noted only in endothelial cells, and unequivocal macrophages were not identified. In WHO grade III anaplastic astrocytoma and anaplastic oligodendroglioma, rare HAM56-positive macrophages were noted in solid areas of tumor. In WHO grade IV GBM, HAM56-positive macrophages were identified in areas of solid tumor (mean labeling index, 8.6%). In all cases of GBM, nonquantitated HAM56-positive macrophages were identified in foci of pseudopalisading cells abutting necrosis and in foci of microvascular proliferations. In none of the cases were granulomas or microglial nodules found, and there was no prior history of surgical intervention, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or head trauma in these cases. By SAGE, the macrophage-related proteins osteopontin and macrophage-capping protein were overexpressed 12-fold and eightfold, respectively, in one untreated GBM compared with normal brain tissue. In this case, numerous HAM56-positive macrophages (labeling index, 24.5%) were present in the solid portion of tumor, and abundant nonquantified macrophages were identified in foci of pseudopalisading cells abutting necrosis and in foci of microvascular proliferations. Conclusions. - This study confirms the utility of the monoclonal antibody HAM56 in identifying macrophages within untreated infiltrating gliomas. The overexpression of macrophage-related proteins in one case of GBM as detected by SAGE signifies that macrophages may be present in untreated GBMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-641
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 22 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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