Adenocarcinoma of the rete testis

Diethylstilbestrol-induced lesions of the mouse rete testis, 1986


The induction of a lesion resembling carcinoma in the rete testis of male mice provides a useful model for study of the pathogenesis of hormonally induced lesions of the testis and possibly other developmental neoplasms.

The model should be of further use in alerting the clinician to the possibility of rete testis changes in the DES-exposed patient. Also, the extreme rarity of this lesion in both experimental animals and humans has made study of the general cytologic features of this neoplasm difficult; studies of the pathogenesis of the lesion are unknown.

The relatively large number of hyperplasias and adenocarcinomas of the rete testes in DES-treated mice provides new possibilities for such investigations.

While no reports of rete hyperplasia or adenocarcinoma in humans have been attributed to prenatal exposure to DES, three cases of seminoma have been described in prenatally DES-exposed men, suggesting an association of prenatal DES treatment with subsequent development of testicular tumors (1979 study and 1983 study).

A recent report states that rete adenocarcinoma can be misdiagnosed as seminoma, and seminoma must be ruled out before a diagnosis of rete adenocarcinoma can be made. Thus, caution should be taken in diagnosing any testicular lesions associated with prenatal DES exposure.


  • Adenocarcinoma of the rete testis. Diethylstilbestrol-induced lesions of the mouse rete testis, The American journal of pathology, NCBI PubMed PMC1888460, 1986 Dec.
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