Peripheral nerve sheath tumors resembling human atypical neurofibroma in goldfish (Carassius auratus, Linnaeus, 1758)
Skin spindle cell tumors (SSTs) frequently occur in fishes, with peripheral nerve sheath tumors (PNSTs) being the most commonly reported neoplasms in goldfish. However, distinguishing PNSTs from other SCTs is not always possible when relying exclusively on routine cytological and histopathological findings. Therefore, the aim of this study is to characterize six skin nodules, resembling atypical neurofibromas in humans, found in six cohabiting goldfish (Carassius auratus), and to determine a minimal subset of special stains required to correctly identify PNSTs in this species. Routine cytology and histopathology were indicative of an SCT with nuclear atypia in all cases, with randomly distributed areas of hypercellularity and loss of neurofibroma architecture. Muscular and fibroblastic tumors were excluded using Azan trichrome staining. Alcian blue and Gomori's reticulin stains revealed the presence of intratumoral areas of glycosaminoglycans or mucins and basement membrane fragments, respectively. PAS and PAS-diastase stains confirmed the latter finding and revealed intra- and extracellular glycogen granules. Immunohistochemistry displayed multifocal, randomly distributed aggregates of neoplastic cells positive for S100 protein and CNPase, intermingled with phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated neurofilament-positive axons. Collectively, these findings are consistent with a PNST resembling atypical neurofibroma in humans, an entity not previously reported in goldfish, and suggest that Azan trichrome staining, reticulin staining, and immunohistochemistry for S100 protein and CNPase represent a useful set of special stains to identify and characterize PNSTs in this species.