Pituitary choristoma composed of corticotrophs and adrenocortical cells in the sella turcica

Hidehiro Oka, Toru Kameya, Hironobu Sasano, Motohiko Aiba, Kalman Kovacs, Eva Horvath, Yukifumi Yokota, Nobuyuki Kawano, Kenzo Yada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A pituitary tumour composed of well-differentiated corticotrophs and adrenocortical cells is reported. Sections of the tumour revealed a mixture of small round cells with amphophilic or basophilic periodic acid-Schiff (PAS)-positive cytoplasm and large spherical and oval cells with abundant, granular, partly vacuolated PAS-negative cytoplasm. The small cells contained type 1 cytokeratin-positive microfilaments, numerous 250-500 nm endocrine-type secretory granules immuno-reactive for adenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and β-lipotropin. The large cells possessed ample cytoplasm filled with abundant vesicular smooth endoplasmic reticulum, numerous mitochondria possessing tubulovesicular cristae and frequent dense bodies. They lacked the features of pituitary endocrine cells or folliculostellate cells and were found to contain a panel of steroidogenic dehydrogenases and hydroxylases. The tumour was classified as a choristoma, in which two distinct cells types, corticotrophs and adrenocortical cells, were mixed. We suggest that, under continued ACTH stimulation, uncommitted stem cells may differentiate into adrenocortical cells. Alternatively, the presence of adrenocortical cells may be the result of heterotopia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-617
Number of pages5
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Adrenocortical cell
  • Choristoma
  • Corticotroph
  • Pituitary gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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