Granulosa Cell & Tumor Markers




A granulosa cell is a somatic cell found closely associated with the developing female gamete (called an oocyte or egg) in the ovary of mammals. Granulosa cells form a single flattened layer around the mammalian oocyte in the primordial ovarian follicle and later in follicle development (folliculogenesis) they advance to form a multilayered cumulus oophorus surrounding the oocyte in the preovulatory or Graafian follicle. The major functions of granulosa cells include the production of steroids, as well as a myriad of growth factors thought to interact with the oocyte during its development.




AMH (anti-mullerian hormone)

  • can be served as a specific tumor marker in the diagnosis of difficult and complicated tumors of ovary, and in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up survey of the early granulosa cell tumor (GCT). PMID: 11776178

  • a specific marker of sertoli- and granulosa-cell origin in gonadal tumors. PMID: 11070112

  • Serum antimullerian hormone is a sensitive, specific, reliable marker of adult-type granulosa cell tumors and is useful to evaluate the efficacy of treatment and to detect recurrences early. PMID: 8633676

Aromatase (CYP19A1)

  • a key enzyme in steroidogenesis and plays an important role in sexual differentiation, fertility, and carcinogenesis. PMID: 15456920





Follicle regulatory protein (FRP)

  • secreted by the granulosa cell of the ovary and plays a role in modulating follicle development, is a novel useful marker for granulosa cell cancer patients. PMID: 1693585


  • a glycoprotein specifically produced by ovarian granulosa cells, is a marker for granulosa-cell tumors. PMID: 7549118, PMID: 2770810

  • a useful immunomarker to distinguish sarcomatoid adult granulosa cell tumour (AGCT) from other spindle cell neoplasms that may enter into the differential diagnosis. Calretinin appears to be less specific than inhibin. PMID: 12610103

  • inhibin A is an follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)-responsive marker of granulosa cell differentiation which has both autocrine and paracrine actions in sheep. PMID: 11312150

  • granulosa cell tumors have the capacity to produce inhibin. In retrospect, inhibin proved to be a marker for both primary and also recurrent and residual disease. PMID: 1502891

  • key marker of adult granulosa cell tumors of the ovary even in their metastases. PMID: 7611539

MCAM (Melanoma cell adhesion molecule, CD146)

  • weakly detected by immunocytochemical staining in human luteinizing granulosa cells isolated from patients undergoing IVF treatment. Its expression was found to be increased during time in culture of these cells. Flow cytometry and Northern blot analysis revealed that MCAM expression on luteinizing granulosa cells was enhanced when the cells were cultured for 5 days in the presence of hCG (1 IU/ml) or cytokines such as interleukin-1alpha (10 ng/ml) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (10 ng/ml). PMID: 12771231

Other Granulosa Cell Tumor Markers

  • Loss of oestrogen receptor beta, high PCNA and p53 expression and aneuploidy as markers of worse prognosis in ovarian granulosa cell tumours. PMID: 12940778

  • Immunoreactive inhibin, mullerian inhibitory substance, and activin as biochemical markers for juvenile granulosa cell tumors. PMID: 8969738

  • Immunohistochemistry of ovarian granulosa cell tumours. The value of tissue specific proteins and tumour markers. PMID: 2471350

  • Serum estradiol as a marker in recurrent granulosa-theca-cell tumor. PMID: 1851346