Immunocytochemical study of pituitary oncocytic adenomas

H. Nishioka, H. Ito, A. Hirano, N. Shibata, M. Kobayashi

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16 Scopus citations


Using immunocytochemistry we have analyzed 8 pituitary oncocytomas, 14 null cell adenomas, and 2 oncocytomas of the parotid gland (Warthin's tumor). The proportions of adenoma cells that are positive for mitochondrial protein (MP), cytochrome oxidase (COX), and manganese-superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) were significantly higher in pituitary oncocytomas than in null cell adenomas (MP P < 0.001, COX P < 0.001, Mn-SOD P < 0.05). In pituitary oncocytomas, MP-positive cells were distributed unevenly but in clusters or in islets admired with some MP-negative cells, and corresponded to COX-positive cells. In contrast, almost all of the oxyphilic epithelial cells of Warthin's tumor were positive for MP, COX, and Mn-SOD. On the other hand, both pituitary tumors displayed similar findings with regard to the proportion of adenoma cells immunoreactive for copper/zinc-SOD and adenohypophysial hormones, the Ki-67 (MIB-1) proliferating cell index, and the mean number of argyrophilic nucleolar organizer regions. It was confirmed that immunocytochemical identification of MP and COX is useful for distinguishing pituitary oncocytomas from null cell adenomas. Although it remains to be determined whether oncocytomas originate from oncocytic changes of tumor cells or from neoplastic transformation of oncocytic cells, it appears that tumorigenesis of pituitary oncocytomas differs from that of Warthin's tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-47
Number of pages6
JournalActa neuropathologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1997


  • Manganese-superoxide dismutase
  • Mitochondria
  • Null cell adenoma
  • Oncocytomas
  • Pituitary adenoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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