Do Canine Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasms Resemble Human Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumours? A Comparative Morphological and Immunohistochemical Investigation

Cynthia de Vries, Björn Konukiewitz, Wilko Weichert, Günter Klöppel, Heike Aupperle-Lellbach, Katja Steiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although canine pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (PanNENs) have been proposed as a model for the counterpart human neoplasms, the type or grade of human PanNEN that they resemble is unclear. PanNENs in animals are classified as adenoma or carcinoma, whereas in humans they are classified as pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour (PanNET) if well-differentiated, or as pancreatic neuroendocrine carcinoma (PanNEC) if poorly differentiated. We evaluated 16 canine primary PanNENs and two metastases histologically and immunohistochemically, and graded them using the animal and human grading systems. All neoplasms had local or vascular invasion and were classified as pancreatic islet cell carcinomas according to the current WHO classification. The Ki-67 index was low in all cases (0.01–1.50%). All had cytoplasmic expression of synaptophysin and insulin but were immunonegative for glucagon, confirming a functional diagnosis of canine insulinoma. Membranous expression of SSTR2A and nuclear expression of ATRX, but no p53 expression, was found in all neoplasms. One primary tumour was diagnosed as a mixed neuroendocrine-non-neuroendocrine neoplasm, which is the first report of this neoplasm in dogs. The other 15 primary tumours and both metastatic tumours were graded as PanNET G1, according to the human WHO classification. We conclude that canine PanNENs share well-differentiated histomorphology, SSTR2A expression and absence of nuclear p53 immunolabelling with human PanNETs G1. However, they differ in ATRX gene expression and functionality, and seem to have a worse prognosis than human PanNETs G1, although their generally low Ki-67 index precludes more precise assessment of prognosis. Membranous SSTR2A expression renders canine PanNENs potentially amenable to treatment with somatostatin analogues or SSTR targeted in-vivo imaging methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-85
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Comparative Pathology
Volume181
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Ki-67 index
  • SSTR2A
  • canine insulinoma
  • pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours

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