A cerebral primitive neuroectodermal tumor in a squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus)

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An adult squirrel monkey with a history of long-term exposure to microwave radiation was found at necropsy to have a malignant tumor of the right cerebral cortex. Gross examination revealed a mass with expanding borders in the right frontoparietal cortex with compression of the adjacent lateral ventricle. Microscopy revealed a tumor composed of sheets of moderate-sized cells, resembling an oligodendroglioma, with clear cytoplasm and central nuclei interrupted by delicate vasculature. Malignant features were present in the form of marked nuclear pleomorphism, frequent mitotic figures, and focal necrosis. A neuronal cell origin for this tumor was supported by immunohistochemical analysis, which revealed immunopositivity for neurofilament proteins and neuron-specific enolase. Staining for vimentin and glial fibrillary acid protein was negative, except in reactive astrocytes at the tumor margins and adjacent to intra-tumoral blood vessels. Antibody activity against Ki-67 antigen, a marker of rapidly proliferating tumor cells, and p53 oncoprotein was strongly positive, indicative of the aggressive and malignant nature of this tumor. The tumor was diagnosed as a cerebral primitive neuroectodermal tumor.

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