Chimerism of metanephric adenoma but not of carcinoma in kidney transplants

Am J Pathol. 2004 Dec;165(6):2079-85. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)63258-0.


Recipient-derived cells integrate into renal allografts inducing organ-specific microchimerism. Circulating pluripotent progenitor cells with high plasticity for differentiation were suggested as a potential source of allograft chimerism. Whether or not these cells also contribute to tumor formation in renal transplants is unknown. We analyzed six histologically different tumors in renal allografts for the presence of recipient-derived cells. To circumvent dependency on gender mismatch, a polymerase chain reaction assay for highly polymorphic short tandem repeat marker (DNA fingerprinting) in combination with laser microdissection was applied. Pure tumor cell populations were harvested by laser microdissection after immunohistochemical (CD45/CD68) marking of contaminating leukocytes. In cases of gender mismatch (n = 2), results were confirmed by sex chromosome in situ hybridization. Two metanephric adenomas demonstrated microchimerism comprising both donor- and recipient-derived tumor cells. Two clear cell carcinomas, one transitional cell carcinoma, and one renal cortical adenoma were all of donor origin without chimerism. We conclude that except for metanephric adenomas, tumors arising in renal transplants originate completely from graft cells. The mixed derivation of metanephric adenomas indicates an incorporation of recipient-derived progenitor cells. This finding suggests that adult stem cells can assume neoplastic phenotypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / genetics
  • Adenoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenoma / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / genetics
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / genetics
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Lasers
  • Leukocytes / pathology
  • Male
  • Microdissection
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Tandem Repeat Sequences / genetics
  • Tissue Donors
  • Transplantation Chimera*