Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors (SLCT) are rare sex-cord stromal tumors of the ovary composed of undifferentiated gonadal stromal cells, Leydig cells (LC), and Sertoli cells (SC), with the latter forming structures resembling fetal testicular tubules. The hsitogenetic basis of morphological male diffentiation patterns in females is controversial. Here, we report a SLCT with intermediate differentiation in a 23-year-old women investigated by light microscopy, immunohistochemistry for intermediate filaments, and sex-steroid hormone receptors (SSHR), as well as by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of the sex-determining region Y gene ( SRY ). Our investigation shows that the SCs of SLCT express progesterone and androgen receptors as well as cytokeratins and vimentin. By PCR, SLCT-derived genomic DNA lacked the SRY gene, indicating that the SLCT results from a SRY gene-independent pathway of pseudomale gonadal differentiation. The expression of progesterone receptors (PRs) in the SCs of the SLCT is in contract to their absence in testicular SCs, but in line with their presence in ovarian granulosa and surface epithelial cells. Thus, our results provide strong evidence for a close histogenetic relationship between the SLCT and the female gonocyte-supporting cell, the granulosa cell (GC).
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