The genotypic features of mature ovarian teratomas (MOTs) are controversial. Early studies detected a homozygous genotype in MOTs suggesting that these tumors are composed of germ cells that have undergone meiosis I. Other studies, however, revealed a heterozygous genotype in a substantial proportion of MOTs suggesting an origin either from premeiotic germ cells or from a somatic cell line. In view of the complex morphology of MOTs and to increase the sensitivity of teratoma genotyping, we applied tissue microdissection before genetic analysis of teratomatous tissue. This approach allowed selective analysis of different heterotopic tissue elements as well as the lymphoid tissues within MOTs the origin of which is unknown. After DNA extraction, the tissue samples were polymerase chain reaction amplified using a random panel of highly informative genetic markers for different chromosomes to evaluate heterozygosity versus homozygosity. In all seven cases that were analyzed, heterotopic tissues consistently revealed a homozygous genotype with several markers; in two cases, heterozygosity was detected with a single marker, indicating a meiotic recombination event. Lymphoid aggregates within MOTs were heterozygous and derived from host tissue rather than from teratomatous growth. However, well differentiated thymic tissue was consistently homozygous, suggesting lymphoid differentiation capability of MOTs. We conclude that potential pitfalls in genotyping of teratomas including meiotic recombination and host cell participation can be avoided by a microdissection-based approach in combination with a panel of genetic markers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine