Immunohistochemical expression of renin and GATA3 help distinguish juxtaglomerular cell tumors from renal glomus tumors

Sounak Gupta, Andrew L. Folpe, Jorge Torres-Mora, Victor E. Reuter, Jonathan E. Zuckerman, Nadja Falk, Melissa L. Stanton, Selvaraj Muthusamy, Steven C. Smith, Vidit Sharma, Sanjeev Sethi, Loren Herrera-Hernandez, Rafael E. Jimenez, John C. Cheville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Juxtaglomerular cell tumors and glomus tumors both arise from perivascular mesenchymal cells. Juxtaglomerular cells are specialized renin-secreting myoendocrine cells in the afferent arterioles adjacent to glomeruli, and juxtaglomerular tumors derived from these cells are therefore unique to the kidney. In contrast, glomus tumors have been described at numerous anatomic sites and may show significant morphologic and immunophenotypic overlap with juxtaglomerular tumors when occurring in the kidney. Although ultrastructural studies and immunohistochemistry for renin may distinguish these entities, these diagnostic modalities are often unavailable in routine clinical practice. Herein, we studied the clinicopathologic features of a large series of juxtaglomerular tumors (n = 15) and glomus tumors of the kidney (n = 9) to identify features helpful in their separation, including immunohistochemistry for smooth muscle actin (SMA), CD34, collagen IV, CD117, GATA3, synaptophysin, and renin. Markers such as SMA (juxtaglomerular tumors: 12/13, 92%; glomus tumors: 9/9, 100%), CD34 (juxtaglomerular tumors: 14/14, 100%; glomus tumors: 7/9, 78%), and collagen IV (juxtaglomerular tumors: 5/6, 83%; glomus tumors: 3/3, 100%) were not helpful in separating these entities. In contrast to prior reports, all juxtaglomerular tumors were CD117 negative (0/12, 0%), as were glomus tumors (0/5, 0%). Our results show that juxtaglomerular tumors have a younger age at presentation (median age: 27 years), female predilection, and frequently exhibit diffuse positivity for renin (10/10, 100%) and GATA3 (7/9, 78%), in contrast to glomus tumors (median age: 51 years; renin: 0/6, 0%; GATA3: 0/6, 0%). These findings may be helpful in distinguishing these tumors when they exhibit significant morphologic overlap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-123
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Pathology
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • GATA3
  • Glomus tumor
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Juxtaglomerular cell tumor
  • Renin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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