Thirty benign cystic teratomas of the ovary were studied by immunofluorescence, using specific human antisera for (a) squamous epithelial intercellular areas (pemphigus sera), (b) squamous epithelial basement membranes (bullous pemphigoid sera), (c) smooth muscle (chronic active hepatitis sera), and (d) striated muscle (thymoma sera). Squamous epithelial intercellular staining was seen in all specimens and was present in the basal cell layers as well as in the prickle cell layers, suggesting a slow regeneration rate for the squamous epithelial lining of these tumors. Well-formed basement membranes were identified at the periphery of all squamous epithelial structures. Smooth muscle was found in 73% of the neoplasms, and the immunofluorescent findings correlated with light microscopy. No skeletal muscle components were identified. Within the limits of the antibodies used and the antigens detected, these results support the concept that benign ovarian cystic teratomas are composed of mature, heterotopic tissue elements.
Part of this work was performed while the author was a Fellow in Pathology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, N. Y.