Intercalated cells as a probable source for the development of renal oncocytoma

Virchows Arch B Cell Pathol Incl Mol Pathol. 1988;56(3):185-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02890016.


Renal oncocytoma is a distinct type of epithelial tumor said to arise from the collecting duct system. Here we show that in nine of ten oncocytomas the tumor cells expressed an analog of the erythrocyte anion exchanger band 3. In the normal kidney band 3 is confined to the basolateral surface of the majority of intercalated cells which comprise up to 50% of the cortical collecting duct epithelium. Carbonic anhydrase c is another protein abundant in intercalated cells, and this was also expressed in six of the ten oncocytomas investigated. Immunoreactivity specific for band 3 and carbonic anhydrase c was not detected in any of the 20 renal cell carcinomas examined. At favourable section planes direct transitions between normal collecting ducts and oncocytic tubules were observed. These findings suggest that oncocytomas may develop from intercalated cells of the collecting duct epithelium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / pathology*
  • Anion Exchange Resins
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Kidney Tubules, Collecting / pathology
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Anion Exchange Resins