Renal angiomyolipomas from patients with sporadic lymphangiomyomatosis contain both neoplastic and non-neoplastic vascular structures

Am J Pathol. 2003 Feb;162(2):491-500. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)63843-6.


Renal angiomyolipomas are highly vascular tumors that occur sporadically, in women with pulmonary lymphangiomyomatosis (LAM), and in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). The goal of this study was to determine whether the distinctive vessels of angiomyolipomas are neoplastic or reactive. We studied angiomyolipomas with loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in the TSC2 region of chromosome 16p13 from patients with LAM. We found that angiomyolipomas contain five morphologically distinct vessel types: cellular, collagenous, hemangiopericytic, glomeruloid, and aneurysmatic. Using laser capture microdissection, we determined that four of the vessel types have TSC2 LOH and are therefore neoplastic. One vessel type, collagenous vessels, did not have LOH, and is presumably reactive. Recently, activation of S6 Kinase and its target S6 ribosomal protein (S6) was demonstrated in cells lacking TSC2 expression. We found that angiomyolipoma vessel types in which LOH were detected were immunoreactive with anti-phospho-S6 antibodies. Angiomyolipoma cells without LOH, including the endothelial component of the vessels, were not immunoreactive. To our knowledge, angiomyolipomas are the first benign vascular tumor in which the vascular cells, rather than the stromal cells, have been found to be neoplastic. Angiomyolipomas appear to reflect novel vascular mechanisms that may be the result of activation of cellular pathways involving S6 Kinase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Angiomyolipoma / genetics
  • Angiomyolipoma / pathology*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 13*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Genetic Markers
  • Glycogen / analysis
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / genetics
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Loss of Heterozygosity*
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / genetics
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / pathology*
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 / metabolism
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases / metabolism
  • Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 2 Protein
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins


  • Genetic Markers
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Ribosomal Protein S6
  • TSC2 protein, human
  • Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 2 Protein
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Glycogen
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases