Thomsen-Friedenreich glycotope is expressed in developing and normal kidney but not in renal neoplasms

Valeriu Toma, Christian Zuber, Tetsutaro Sata, Paul Komminoth, Seife Hailemariam, John N. Eble, Philipp U. Heitz, Jürgen Roth

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5 Scopus citations


The Thomsen-Friedenreich glycotope (TF) is considered a general carcinoma autoantigen and is therefore of importance in cancer diagnosis and immunotherapy. We report the distribution of the TF glycotope in developing and adult human kidney and renal neoplasms. A monoclonal antibody and the lectin amaranthin were used to study the TF and its sialylated, masked form by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. In developing kidney, the TF was restricted to the loop of Henle, distal tubules, and peripheral collecting ducts, whereas its sialylated form was detectable in all epithelial differentiations derived from the 2 embryonic anlagen, the metanephrogenic blastema being unreactive. This pattern was essentially preserved in adult kidney, with TF labeling beginning in the thick ascending limb and extending into the collecting ducts of outer medulla. The sialylated TF glycotope was additionally observed in ascending thin limbs. The TF was exclusively expressed in the luminal cell surface and hence was inaccessible to immune reactions. Analysis of a spectrum of renal neoplasms failed to detect the TF, with the exception of occasional staining of tubules in a nephroblastoma. Moreover, the sialylated TF was only detectable in oncocytoma, chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, cystic nephroma, nephroblastoma, and nephroblastomatosis complex and occasionally in type 1 papillary renal cell carcinoma. Thus, the TF and its sialylated form are expressed in normal developing and adult kidney. However, the TF does not seem to represent a tumor-associated glycotope in human kidney, nor does it appear to be of value in diagnosis and immunotherapy of renal neoplasms. (C) 2000 by W.B. Saunders Company.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-655
Number of pages9
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney
  • Renal neoplasms
  • Thomsen-Friedenreich antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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    Toma, V., Zuber, C., Sata, T., Komminoth, P., Hailemariam, S., Eble, J. N., Heitz, P. U., & Roth, J. (2000). Thomsen-Friedenreich glycotope is expressed in developing and normal kidney but not in renal neoplasms. Human pathology, 31(6), 647-655.