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J Am Soc Nephrol. 1995 Jan;5(7):1462-8.

Proliferative activity of cyst epithelium in human renal cystic diseases.

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Department of Pathology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City 73104.


Increased proliferative activity of the renal tubular epithelium is thought to be a prerequisite for renal cyst formation by many investigators. However, in humans, the exact in vivo proliferation rate of epithelial cells lining these cysts is not known. In this study, which used immunohistochemical methods with an antibody to proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), the proliferation index (PI) (percentage of PCNA positive cell nuclei among epithelial cells lining the renal cysts) was determined in 10 cases of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), 8 cases of autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD), and 8 cases of acquired cystic kidney disease (ACKD). Cysts with proximal and distal nephron phenotype and cysts with markedly thickened basement membranes, as well as cysts lined by atrophic (flattened), "regular" (cuboidal or cylindrical), and hyperplastic epithelium, were evaluated separately. The overall PI of cyst epithelium (excluding hyperplastic cysts) was 2.58 in ADPKD, was 10.5 in ARPKD, and was 3.61 in ACKD. Overall, there were only minor differences in the PI between the various types of cysts. Cysts with hyperplastic epithelium in ACKD (unlike in ADPKD) showed a high PI (9.1). For comparison, the PI of two renal cell carcinomas occurring in two ACKD cases was also determined (13.70 and 8.67%). The PI of tubular epithelium in normal kidneys was only 0.22 to 0.33%, depending on the tubule segment. In contrast, in polycystic kidneys, those noncystic segments of the nephron from which the cysts are thought to originate (distal nephron (specifically collecting duct)) in ARPKD, primarily distal in ADPKD, proximal and distal in ACKD, had PI values similar to those of the cyst epithelium.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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