Immunocytochemical demonstration of oncocytes in normal adenohypophysis

H. Nishioka, H. Ito, A. Hirano, Y. Kato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Immunocytochemical examination for mitochondrial protein and cytochrome oxidase was performed to demonstrate oncocytes in normal adenohypophysis obtained from 28 patients of various age. A small number of solitary large epithelial cells showed intense cytoplasmic granular immunoreactivities for mitochondrial protein and cytochrome oxidase. The proportions of the cells positive for the former and the latter ranged from 0% to 5.9% (mean ± SD; 1.5 ± 1.7%) and from 0% to 4.9% (1.4 ± 1.6%), respectively. These cells were either absent or extremely rare in young patients (under 10 years) but tended to increase in number with age (P < 0.0001). On the other hand, the mirror section technique showed that most of these cells were negative for adenohypophysial hormones, but a few of them were faintly positive for: α-subunit (8.0%), β-subunits of follicle-stimulating hormone (4.8%), luteinizing hormone (2.5%), thyroid-stimulating hormone (1.0%), and growth hormone (0.5%), and were negative for prolactin and adrenocorticotropic hormone. We considered that these cells represent oncocytes that exist in varying numbers in normal adenohypophysis. It was suggested that oncocytes in normal adenohypophysis share various common features with tumorous oncocytes of pituitary oncocytomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-44
Number of pages5
JournalActa neuropathologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mitochondria
  • Oncocytes
  • Oncocytomas
  • Pituitary gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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