Immunohistochemical demonstration of oncocytes in nongonadotrophic pituitary adenomas

Hiroshi Nishioka, Hiroshi Ito, Asao Hirano

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13 Scopus citations


An immunohistochemical study to demonstrate oncocytes in nongonadotrophic pituitary adenomas was performed. The adenomas were 10 prolactinomas, 2 ACTH-producing adenomas (ACTHomas), and 28 growth hormone-producing adenomas (GHomas); we also studied 5 pituitary oncocytomas. GHomas were divided into two groups: GHomas with (GHomas-1) and without (GHomas-2) fibrous bodies. A small number of solitary large cells showed intense cytoplasmic granular reactivity for mitochondrial protein and cytochrome oxidase, resembling oncocytes in oncocytomas. The proportions of the mitochondrial protein-positive cells ranged from zero to 2.1% (0.3 ± 0.4%). They were more frequent in GHomas, GHomas-1 in particular, than other types of adenomas (P < 0.01), and were mostly negative in prolactinomas and ACTHomas. In multivariate analysis, the proportions showed positive correlation with age (P < 0.01) and the Ki-67 (MIB-1) labeling index (P < 0.01) and tended to increase in number with recurrence (P < 0.05). In GHomas, these cells were more common in cases with low basal GH level (P < 0.01) and large tumor volume (P < 0.01). We consider that these cells represent oncocytes existing in varying numbers in adenomas. We suggest that oncocytic change in nongonadotrophic adenomas indicates poor differentiation and/or some aggressiveness, which lead to a decrease in the endocrine activity of the tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-433
Number of pages6
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Growth hormone-producing adenomas
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mitochondria
  • Oncocytes
  • Pituitary adenomas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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