KIT-positive gastrointestinal stromal tumor in a 22-year-old male chimpanzee (Pan troglodites)

G. A. Saturday, J. Lasota, D. Frost, K. B. Brasky, G. Hubbard, M. Miettinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), KIT-positive and KIT signaling driven or platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRA) signaling driven mesenchymal tumors, are poorly known in nonhuman primates. Availability of KIT- and PDGFRA-inhibitor drug imatinib mesylate has greatly raised the interest for these tumors. At necropsy of a 22-year-old male chimpanzee, a round, firm 2-cm intramural tumor was incidentally found in the midbody of the stomach and diagnosed as a GIST. Histologically, the mass was composed of spindle to polygonal epithelioid cells arranged in short to intermediate-length, interlacing streams, bundles, and nodular whorls often separated by hyalinized eosinophilic matrix. The mitotic rate was a maximum 1/50 high-power field. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were diffusely positive for KIT and CD34, focally positive for α-smooth muscle actin, and negative for muscle specific actin, desmin, S-100 protein, synaptophysin, and glial fibrillary acidic protein. Because the majority of human GISTs have gain-of-function KIT or PDGFRA mutations, genomic sequences of KIT exons 9, 11, 13, and 17 and PDGFRA exons 12 and 18 from this chimpanzee GIST were polymerase chain reaction amplified and sequenced. However, no mutation was identified in the analyzed "mutational hot spots." This study is the first extensive histomorphologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular genetic analysis of a chimpanzee GIST. More cases of nonhuman primate GISTs should be analyzed to discover the clinicopathologic spectrum of GISTs in these species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-365
Number of pages4
JournalVeterinary pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Chimpanzee
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors
  • KIT
  • Platelet-derived growth factor receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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